David Meets Goliath

Looking at the Indianola Indians makes me wonder if David is getting ready to take down another Goliath.

Almost a month ago, Indianola took down Ankeny 21-10, the first time the Indians have won at Ankeny during Coach Eric Kluver’s time as coach. Ankeny is where Coach Kluver was then player Kluver and under the guidance of Jerry Pezzetti. But the Indians have dropped the next two games to move their record to 3-4 with a game against Urbandale next week likely to decide the two teams’ play-off fate. Last week SE Polk used 5 turnovers to put points on the board en-route to a 52-14 win.

Kluver calls that win a big one for his program. It was against a traditional power, on the road and they sustained long drives. It was good for confidence of his kids, all 26 that dress varsity.

That’s right 26 players.

Earlier this year, Indianola went through discussions about dropping down to 3A’s Little Hawkeye Conference. The shortage of numbers has forced some players to take snaps on both sides of the ball. At least three players will do that on Friday night. T/DE Levi Easter (6′ 175 SR), LG/DT Don Dawson (6′ 254 JR) and Spencer Bowers (6′ 210 SR) all will spend a lot of time on the Waukee Stadium turf. Two others, Brandon Abernathy (6’2 200 SR) and Ryan McCoy (5’9 193 SR) will start on defense at linebacker but will also see a lot of second half action at running back. Coach Kluver wants to keep Abernathy and McCoy as fresh as possible against the West Des Moines Dowling Catholic Maroons. It is also his chance at building some depth for his program.

The Indians run a Pro I offense with a basic playbook. They try to keep the game simple and execute their play calls. They like to run the ball, but Dowling has a history of stopping the run this season as they shut down big-state running backs Jake Sargent of SE Polk and Johnston‘s Nathan DePenning.

Kale Render is the quarterback for Indianola. He’s a junior signal caller with 40-92 passing for 882 yards and 5 touchdowns. His younger brother Keegan is a freshman and will start at RT.

Brad Boden will start at fullback and split time with Abernathy in the second half. Boden has rushed the ball 47 times for 154 yards while Abernathy has 12 carries for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The tailback starter is listed as Kody Foust who has the team’s best with 99 carries and 358 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ryan McCoy will likely see 2nd half action and could add to his 42 carries and 198 yards.

Big stat receivers are Brennan Davey (12-403 2 TDs), Dylan Rankin (10-153), Chris Henry (10-148) and Steve Minderman (4-130).

The defense looks like a 5-2 on paper and sometimes on the field. Coach Kluver’s kids will also line up in a 4-3 depending on the situation with Dylan Rankin moving from DE to LB depending on the call.

Brandon Abernathy is the team leader in tackles with 62, Ryan McCoy has 60, Nick Smith 43 and Spencer Bowers has 28 tackles to lead the Indians.

A couple of random stats:

  • The Indians have not tried a FG all season.
  • The Dowling team has an average score of 45-5 this season. Take out the 23 points SE Polk scored and the defense is only giving up 2.4 points per game. 5 points allowed is tied for best in 4A with Cedar Falls.
  • WR Amara Darboh was offered a scholarship by Notre Dame this week. This follows offers from Iowa, Iowa State and strong interest from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Auburn. That information comes from this Hawk Central post. Iowa Preps posted this report earlier Thursday.
  • QB Connor Bravard had 332 total yards in last week’s 42-0 win over Johnston. He’s now topped 1,000 yards passing for the season with 1,089 yards.
  • K Mac Chapman is 42-42 on PATs.
  • S Jason McMurray leads the Maroons in tackles with 36.

Indianola has 13 seniors and 19 juniors on varsity. The Maroons have 31 seniors and 41 juniors listed on their roster for a total of 72 varsity players. Kluver says that depth is hard to contend with. So is the speed of Dowling Catholic and physical nature of the team, according to coach. He says if you stop one play maker like RB Dalton Parrott then QB Connor Bravard will beat you. Or he’ll throw to one of the talented receivers like Amara Darboh, Eric Lee, Jake Yacinich or Ben Boesen. Stop one, you’ve got other weapons to contend with.

Friday is Senior Night with the 31 players being honored during pregame. Their record at Dowling High School is 38-1. This group of seniors has not lost a Freshman game, Sophomore game and only 1 varsity game up until this point. And those players would like to keep it that way. Also part of the festivities will be the 2000 State Championship team. Think there will be any advice passed on to this year’s squad?

Friday’s broadcast begins at 6p on AM 1150 KWKY or KWKY.com. We’ll have Twitter updates with our handle of @KWKYSports. Our man Romelle will be back in the booth. A big thanks to Libby Nelson for the help last week. She had more room standing 8 deep outside the press box than Dave Marcoulier and I had in the box. At least Brian Morris could roam the sidelines.

My name is Paul Yeager, we’ll see on the air at 6p from Waukee Stadium. Kickoff is set for 730p. Next week is a bye week with the first round of the playoff set to begin October 27th at a site to be determined.


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