Ram-ing their way back to the top

Playing 9 games over 10 weeks has its advantages.

First, you’ve got an extra week somewhere in the season to get healthy or study additional game tape. TV, newspaper and radio sales managers like it because there’s an extra week to sell, I mean run ad inventory.

But then there’s the downside of giving kids too much time to wander or not stay sharp.

All of these factors are reality the past two weeks for Coach Denny Muller of Southeast Polk. His team is on their way on the positive side of winning with a 3-1 start to the 2010 campaign. The Rams beat DM Lincoln 27-24, Roosevelt 49-7 and Waukee 28-14.

But the 1 loss came 2 weeks ago in a 17-1 loss at Ankeny. That’s a long time for the team to think about when they team boards the bus to play at Dowling Catholic Friday night, September 24, 2010.

Justin Hayworth/The Register. Southeast Polk's Jake Sargent makes his way through the line in the third quarter against Waukee earlier this season.

Also, 2 weeks will pass to let a 17-7 loss set in for his players and coaching staff. It is also 14 days for his leading rusher, Jake Sargent (80-555 yards, 4 TDs), to heal from a concussion he received in the first half at Ankeny. Sargent only played two games last year following discipline and injuries shortened his season. He’s bull with finesse not being his strength. Sound familiar? Jeff Woody ring a bell? Actually, he’s starting to ring bells in the Big 12 for many Iowa State Cyclone opponents. Sargent cleared all doctors tests and is suiting up Friday night.

The bye week also has given Muller and his staff to study Dowling Catholic and try to find ways to stop the Tom Wilson coached team from West Des Moines. Last season the Maroons rolled to a 42-14 win at Urbandale.

Coach Muller says the extra week has just given him more headaches as each tape they watch the Maroons get better. The Maroons rolled in their homecoming last week over then ranked #4 Fort Dodge, 42-3. The Maroons have only allowed 14 points all season and have continuous clock in the last 4 games. They’ve averaged 50.3 points per game in those contests to bring a 5-0 record into Valley Stadium Friday night.

The stats alone make Dowling Catholic a tough team to prepare for according to Coach who  each tape they watch, they get better.

Turnovers and penalties against Ankeny hurt the Rams’ chance of winning, in a winnable game for the Rams said Muller. Ankeny scored on all 3 possessions following turnovers, even gave Ankeny a short field to work with on one of those drives.

The defense was a bright spot, holding Ankeny to their lowest offensive production of the year giving up 17 points following an average of 40 points a contest.

HOLLY MCQUEEN/THE REGISTER Southeast Polk High School's Kyle Starcevich (14) moves past Lincoln High School's Kyle Simpson (20) during the first half of their varsity game at Southeast Polk.

The Rams start a sophomore at quarterback in Kyle Starcevich. This season the assistant coach’s son has thrown the ball 70 times with 30 completions for 440 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. When you grow up a the son a coach, you usually know what game film looks like and Coach Muller says Kyle fits that standard.

Starcevich’s main targets are TE Austin Pinegar (SR, 8-122 2 TDs), WR Zach Warren (JR, 4-49 1 TD), Cody McCoy (JR, 7-96) and Tyler Donels (JR, 5-46).

Logan Bieghler is the team’s kicker. He’s perfect on the season in PATs (13/13).  He also averaged over 58 yards per punt.

The defense features Tanner Donovan with 40 tackles. Bryan Varisco has 25, 6 of those for loss and Dylan Leighter with 26 tackles.

We go on the air 6p on AM1150 KWKY or http://www.KWKY.com. You can also follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/KWKYSports. We’ll see you then.

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