Prep Football

Iowa high school football rewind: Sigourney-Keota and its single-wing offense off to 7-0 start

The coaches might change, but the offense doesn't

Sigourney-Keota’s JD Stout gets past Pekin’s Justice Kirkbride during a game earlier this season. (Southeast Iowa Union, courtesty of Kevin Rohr)
Sigourney-Keota’s JD Stout gets past Pekin’s Justice Kirkbride during a game earlier this season. (Southeast Iowa Union, courtesty of Kevin Rohr)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Head football coaches might change at Sigourney-Keota, but offenses don’t. Ask Jared Jensen.

When he took over the Cobras program in 2011, it was implied the old single-wing was staying, no matter what. After doing a little research, he was more than OK with that.

“I had no idea what it was,” said Jensen, a Creston native who had previously coached at Twin Cedars. “When I interviewed, I talked to the coaches and understood kind of that this is what S-K is known for ... It’s something that I could tell from the coaching staff and the kids that this is their identity. I kind of took a look at it, and I liked just kind of the deceptive factor of what it brings. I fell in love with it.”

Hall of fame coach Bob Howard won a state championship and a ton of games at Sigourney and the combined Sigourney-Keota program with the unique offense in which there is an unbalanced offensive line and every snap is taken from shotgun.

The quarterback literally spins on most snaps, whether he or a running back gets the snap.

“I was luckily the only guy having to learn when they got a new coach,” Jensen said, with a chuckle. “They were still doing what they’ve always done.”

Very, very well this season. Sigourney-Keota is 7-0 after destroying Columbus Community, 59-6, Friday night. The Class 1A No. 9 Cobras are averaging 51 points and haven’t had a game closer than 20, that in the opener against Pekin.

They are second in the state in rushing yardage, their 3,012 just 20 less than Saint Ansgar. They lead the state with an eye-popping per-carry average of 10.0.

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“I think we all knew we could be pretty good, but we didn’t know how good,” Jensen said. “Up to this point, our guys have been playing great. Being 7-0 right now is something we’ll never forget, but we’ve got to realize it’s not over. Don’t be satisfied. I think we are a veteran enough group to where the satisfaction is not there until it’s all said and done for a state championship.”

Senior J.D. Stout leads S-K’s prolific ground attack with 1,214 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s the spinner back.

Junior Sam Sieren has 945 rushing yards and 11 scores. Sigourney-Keota’s defense has forced 23 turnovers, including seven interceptions by junior Brady Duwa.

As Jensen mentioned, the Cobras knew they’d be good because a ton of guys returned from last season’s 5-4 team. The final two regular-season games are against Wapello (4-3) and Mediapolis (6-1).

“Throughout the summer, we saw the motivation and commitment during weights and field work,” Jensen said. “We went to Camp Dodge for three days as a team and tried to really bond there. You could just see while we were there that we had something special with this group. They have taken that and probably become one of the closest teams I’ve had since I’ve been here. That just shows every night when we step out onto the field.”

Anamosa gets the Cowbell

There’s no better way to get your first victory of the season. Anamosa did that Friday night, beating rival Monticello, 21-13.

Quarterback Grahm Humpal threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders won for the first time in seven tries. Alex Casey added 154 yards rushing and a TD.

Anamosa had been close, losing to West Liberty by a point and Dyersville Beckman by three. Monticello fell to 5-2.

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Anamosa gets to take home The Cowbell for the first time since 2015. Painted Anamosa blue on one side and Monticello red on the other, the bell annually goes to the winner of this game.

GMG forfeits to North Tama

Class A third-ranked North Tama received a 1-0 forfeit victory Friday night over Garwin GMG. The game was scheduled to be played at Traer, but GMG elected not to participate because injuries have thinned an already thin roster.

The Wolverines started the season with 21 players in ninth through 12th grades. GMG was 0-6 going into the week and had been outscored by a 203-0 margin in its previous four games.

Looking ahead

The biggest area game this coming week will be in Class A. That’s where seventh-ranked Edgewood-Colesburg (6-1) will take on No. 5 MFL MarMac (7-0) at Monona.

The winner will be the District 5 champion. Ed-Co’s only loss this season was to Class 1A North Linn.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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