Prep Football

Iowa high school football Week 5 rewind: North Cedar is 4-1 after 4-year mark of 5-31

Knights are focused on 'the 6 inches in front of their face'

North Cedar senior Brody Hawtrey turns upfield during a game against Camanche earlier this season. (Toby Hollis/North Cedar senior)
North Cedar senior Brody Hawtrey turns upfield during a game against Camanche earlier this season. (Toby Hollis/North Cedar senior)

The recent past isn’t stellar. The future is somewhat murky. Here and now? That’s pretty darn good for the North Cedar Knights.

“We keep telling the guys to control the 6 inches in front of their face,” North Cedar football coach Adam Hadenfeldt said. “And they’ve done a good job of staying focused.”

Winners of five games (against 31 losses) in the previous four seasons, the Knights have rattled off four victories in a row, including an 8-7 triumph at Cascade in their Class 1A District 4 opener Friday.

“All of the credit goes to this senior group,” Hadenfeldt said. “We only have 23 kids on our roster (grades 9-12), but 11 of them are seniors, and they’ve continued to stay with it.

“Caden Wendt, he’s started on the line since he was a freshman. Ethan Sahr is a three-year starter at quarterback. Brody Hawtrey rushed for 900 yards last year.”

Hadenfeldt is in his fourth year at North Cedar. His first three teams posted 1-8 records.

“The first year, we were 1-8 and not competitive,” he said. “The second year, we were 1-8 and kind of competitive. Last year, we were 1-8 and a lot more competitive.”

After a 34-0 loss to Tipton to start the season, the Knights defeated Durant, Camanche and Columbus Community. Then came Cascade.

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The Cougars drove inside the North Cedar 20-yard line three times in the first half, but came away with only one touchdown and led 7-0 at halftime.

North Cedar answered on its first drive after intermission, taking six minutes to march for a touchdown on a pass from Sahr to Kael Unruh. Tyler Jackson’s two-point run put the Knights ahead for good.

The Knights host No. 4 West Branch (5-0, 1-0) next week.

Simple math tells you that next year could be dicey in terms of numbers. At first glance, at least.

“We do have a big class of 18 eighth-graders coming in, and we’re hopeful that some kids that didn’t want to play as role players this year will come back out,” Hadenfeldt said.

Look at Lone Tree now

After starting 0-3, Lone Tree has responded by picking off two straight ranked teams.

First it was New London, the defending 8-Player state champion. The Lions picked up a 48-42 overtime decision over the Tigers, then ranked No. 5.

The Lions followed by outlasting No. 9 Montezuma, 69-63, Friday at home.

Lone Tree survived another huge night by Montezuma quarterback Eddie Burgess, who completed 32 of 41 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns. All four TDs went to Cole Watts, who caught 17 passes for 240 yards.

Through five games, Burgess — a sophomore — has accounted for 33 touchdowns (26 passing, seven rushing) and has thrown for 1,572 yards.

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5 if by air, or by land

Benton Community’s Clay Krousie and Western Dubuque’s Calvin Harris both passed for five touchdowns as their respective teams improved to 5-0.

Krousie completed 9 of 15 passes for 202 yards; Harris connected on 14 of 24 throws for 208 yards. Neither threw an interception.

Dyersville Beckman’s Nick Offerman ran for five touchdowns in the Blazers’ win Thursday against Northeast.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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