116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — If you don't give up any points, you've got a pretty good chance to win football games. Obvious, huh?
The Cascade Cougars are 3-0 after a 13-6 win Friday night at North Fayette Valley. Those are the only six points they've allowed this season.
'I think it's just a mentality,' said Cascade Coach Tim Frake. 'Ever since I've been at Cascade we've kind of been known for our spread offense or, depending on our personnel, being able to run the ball when we've had bigger kids, kind of like we do this year. But we've never really sat down and said if we are going to win big football games, you've got to play good defense.
'I mean, we've talked about it, but we've really preached it this year. It has become kind of our mentality. The kids are having a lot of fun, they love getting after it, running around and getting after people. They're just playing really well right now.'
Cascade posted back-to-back shutouts in the non-district portion of its schedule, blasting Maquoketa, 48-0, and DeWitt Central, 47-0. Neither opponent was able to gain 100 yards.
A traditionally strong rushing team, North Fayette Valley only was able to get about 120 yards on the ground Friday night. The TigerHawks are an uncharacteristic 0-3.
'They're well coached, have an excellent tradition up there, do an excellent job. Our kids prepared very well,' Frake said. 'We've just had excellent team defense this year. All the guys are playing very well, tackling well, getting to the football. It has been a huge improvement for our teams.'
There is no resting on laurels for Cascade, which hosts Class 2A top-ranked Waukon this week. District 4 is a meat grinder, including other good teams like Dyersville Beckman and Union.
'I think there were probably five teams going into district play, and even still think, they've got a good shot at the playoffs,' Frake said. 'Top to bottom, you are going to get some excellent football games.'
ENGLISH VALLEYS SHOWS IMPROVEMENT
A 2-2 record might not sound great, but for English Valleys, it's a big step forward. The Bears lost Friday night to Baxter, 62-40, but again were competitive.
EV broke a 15-game winless streak by beating Tri-County in Week 0, 42-0. A close, 32-30 loss to Melcher-Dallas followed, then there was a second victory two weeks ago, 48-46, over Twin Cedars.
'We're pleased with the things that we're doing,' said third-year head coach Mike Gerard. 'Though we didn't win the game last night, there were good things that we did. We feel like we're still making progress. The big thing for us is the attitude and the effort the kids are giving. If they continue to do that, we're going to get more wins, and we're excited about that.'
Braydon Fisher and Payton Gerard are EV's lone seniors, so there are things to look forward to in the future. Sophomore quarterback Cael Hester has thrown eight touchdown passes this season and also has eight TD rushes.
The Bears haven't topped four wins in at least 10 years. That's the goal.
'We knew coming into this year that we could be better and do some good things,' Coach Gerard said. 'The future looks pretty good for us right now because all of the experience these juniors and sophomores are getting this season will help us out moving forward.'
• Keegan James rushed 30 times for 255 yards and three touchdowns to help BGM beat Garwin GMG, 68-7.
• Indianola beat Des Moines Hoover, 35-32, in a game with two pretty remarkable individual performances. Indianola running back Dylan Hildreth rushed a staggering 54 times for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Hoover quarterback Byron Jarrett completed 23 of 36 passes for 460 yards and four TDs.
• Mount Vernon quarterback Drew Adams threw for only 108 yards in his team's 69-0 win over Camanche. But he had six touchdown passes.
• Union QB Troy Hanus had four touchdown passes in his team's 42-0 shutout of Monticello.
• Of QB Bryce Hunger's 297 yards passing for Iowa City High against Ames, 232 of them were to Zach Jones. The senior receiver caught 16 balls, including two for TD. Ames won, 56-33.
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