Friday nights in Iowa are special.
It is the beginning of the weekend, the night East Side Night happens at the Iowa State Fair and it’s also known as Football Night in Iowa.
Friday night was Westside Night at Valley Stadium where West Des Moines Dowling Catholic dropped arch-rival West Des Moines Valley 34-7.
Its the second straight win for Tom Wilson‘s Maroons over Gary Swenson‘s Tigers.
Nearly 10,000 stood around the stadium to see the debut of Connor Bravard and the high-octane offense full of receivers like Amara Darboh, Eric Lee and Jake Yacinich. Darboh made a grab before half on a hail-mary heave to the end zone to set the tone for the rest of the game. Yacinich blocked a punt in the first quarter that was more of an interception. He just flat-out caught the ball off the punter’s foot. Lots of special teams plays were clicking Friday night.
The defense had questions marks coming into the season with only 3 returning starters, but that unit quickly rose to the challenge and shut down the likes of Looney and Lewis. There also was a QB change for Valley as Jeff Pullen started, but Connor Blythe finished the game. Valley was shut out until 1:27 left in the game. Most of the Valley starters were still in, which you could justify because they were working with their likely new quarterback.
The fake punt with Dowling leading by 30 points did raise some eyebrows, we’ll see who remembers that one later. That is usually a set play where the punter looks for a certain check point in coverage, if it’s not there, he takes off running for the first down.
Dowling finished with 161 yards rushing, 84 yards passing. Valley tallied 83 yards rushing and 55 yards passing.
Dowling travels to Council Bluffs on Friday to play Thomas Jefferson. We’ll be on the air at 6 with the pregame show. Hopefully we’ll have Dave Marcoulier back in the booth after a bout of illness on Friday. You know it was serious when Dave couldn’t go. A big thanks to Tom Champan for filling in as our color commentator. He was to be in the booth anyway as he won an auction last year to be a part of the broadcast team. He thought he’d be able to watch his son Mac kick from the back row of the press box, he instead got a front row view of the action. A bit thanks to him and our trusty sideline reporter Brian Morris. Also thanks to Romelle Slaughter for his work on the Twitter feed and keeping us up to do on scores.
There are some other sources of information if you’re interested. One view is from the No, Its Iowa website I referred to in Friday’s broadcast. A plug for Jesse Gavin‘s site is to check in this week as he goes to see the head coaching debut of Alex Pollock and the Aplington Parkersburg Falcons. Alex’s older brother Andy is a new varsity assistant on this year’s Maroon squad.
A preview story on CBTJ will post Thursday or Friday ahead of the game. You can listen to the game online at KWKY.com or on AM1150 KWKY Des Moines.