The dean of Iowa High School football is past the half-way point of his 49th season at Ankeny High School.
The dean of the Big Ten is returning to Iowa this weekend. He’s 83. Joe Paterno brings Penn State to Iowa City Saturday.
Both men have heard whispers about the end.
Both men are still here.
Both still know a lot about football.
Jerry Pezzetti is the 37th winningest coach all-time in high school football and 15th on the active coaches list. He’s 342-135-1 since 1968. That’s a 71.5% winning percentage.
His Hawk team is 5-1 this season with a 2-1 record in the CIML Central conference. But as coach told me earlier this week, they could be 6-0 or 1-5, things have been that close all year.
The one loss came to Indianola, at Ankeny Stadium back on September 21st by a score of 21-10. It marked the first night Eric Kluver beat his old coach. Indianola led most of the way as the former player from the early 1990s beat his coach for the first time in 6 meetings.
Last week, the Hawks bounced back, escaping at Urbandale 14-12. This season the Hawks have also beaten Waukee, Ames, DM North and SE Polk. They’ve outscored opponents 150-60 making the average game 25-10. The Maroons average score is 46 to 6.
Coach Pezzetti said before the season that he wasn’t a fan of the early start or the bye. But as the 2010 campaign marches on, the Hawks keep falling victim to injuries. Now, Coach Pezzetti says next week’s bye will be a welcome break from the CIML season.
But first, the Hawks have to get through Dowling Catholic who escaped a 24-23 win against Southeast Polk. The Maroons allowed the most points of the season (23, 7 was the previous high 2 times before) and gave up 265 yards passing by sophomore quarterback Kyle Starcevich.
The Hawks have their own super sophomore in Joel Lanning. The 6′ 170 lb Lanning played in almost every game as freshman on the varsity squad, moving into the quarterback roll midway through the season. This year Lanning has been injured off and on, but is in the starting line up for the tilt against Dowling. Lanning 71-222 rushing with 3 touchdowns and 34 of 68 passing for 643 yards, 4 TDs and 2 INTs.
Pezzetti’s backfield has yet to have the same starters for any of the first six games as Alex Holmes is out for the season with an injury he sustained in the first quarter of the 2010 season.
This week the Hawks plan to send out Rob Myers (38-215 rushing), Carter Brandt (68-450 5TDs rushing) and Trevor Egli (21-197 rushing yards). Brandt has been the leading rusher 3 times this year with a season high 113 yards against Ames.
Greg Raney is the top receiver with 22 catches and 555 yards and 5 TDs. Drew Lindaman is the starting TE with 5 catches and 57 yards.
The Ankeny offense has been built on deception for decades and now mixes in the pass. But the Hawks still have run the ball 246 times for 1439 yards vs. 76 passes and 739 yards.
The defense is again a tough line up with Rob Myers in the middle. His 46 tackles leads the team. Ty Ash (41 tackles), Zach Thompson (36 tackles) and sophomore Drew Carlson (35 tackles) lead the Hawk defense.
Coach Pezzetti heaps praise on West Des Moines Dowling Catholic Maroons calling them an excellent team that is great all over. He knows the next man has to be tough to stop the Maroons or it could be repeat of last year’s 38-7 Dowling win.
We go on the air at 6p from Ankeny Stadium. We’ll be on AM1150 or KWKY.com. You can also get game updates at Twitter.com/KWKYSports.