It is kind of scary to think what the CIML Central conference will look like the next couple of seasons as Southeast Polk‘s Kyle Starcevich and Ankeny‘s Joel Lanning get more seasoning. Both are great athletes, with huge upsides.
This week, Johnston sends out Michael Kinning who has put the ball up in the air 101 times for 57 completions and 798 yards, 8 TDs and 2 interceptions.
Coach Brian Woodley says he did not ask his QB to do too much early on this year, but allow him to grow into his role with this team. That has happened as the Dragons opened up with a win at Ottumwa (after being delayed a day because of heavy rain and storms) two losses to Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (#5 in 4A) and Marshalltown. Then the Dragon boat started to sail smoothly with wins over Urbandale (31-14), Indianola (42-7) and then Sioux City West (56-7).
Kinning has a couple of big targets to throw to, but his biggest weapon lines up behind him at running back.
Nathan DePenning is a senior with 122 carries for 823 yards (7th best in 4A) and 14 touchdowns. DePenning is averaging 6.7 per carry, 137 per game and has run for a season best 239 in the loss against Marshalltown. He’s also had 5 touchdowns each of the last two games.
Back to those receivers, Cameron Biondi has 13 catches, DePenning 11, Justin Long 9 grabs and Garratte Williams has 8 catches so far this season.
The Dragons, as a team, have 1155 yards rushing on 199 carries. The passing game is about 60% that with 61 of 112 for 841 yards.
Their defense is a 4-3 or 5-2 depending on the situation. The anchor of the D is the player who moves the most on D, Bradley Hagerla. He’s listed as a Defensive End or Outside LineBacker who’s made 40 tackles, 11 of them for loss.
Nick Newton has 33 tackles, Zach Stitz and James Garlock both have 28 and Matt Zinselmeier has 23.
This Johnston team matches up well physically with Dowling Catholic. The last time that happened was Southeast Polk and we saw how that game went. This team also had an extra day to prepare as they played last Thursday at SC West. They’ve got confidence and feel they have the team to give the Maroons everything they can to pull off the upset of the top-ranked team in 4A.
Again, my apologies for the horrible audio last week at Ankeny. We think we have the problem fixed the next time we’re on a cell phone, but this week we’ll be on a phone line. We go on the air 6p with the pre-game show. Coach Tom Wilson chats with us at 7p and kickoff is at 730p.