THE CHOPPING BLOCK: Weekly Football Contest
By BRANDON HURLEY
*** Don’t forget to paricipate in The Bee’s Weekly Football contest. Entries are to due at The Jefferson Herald office each Friday by 5 p.m.
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Welcome, welcome, welcome to my weekly picks column where I not only will make my picks of the week but I will also announce the weekly winners of the Football Contest from the week prior.
This Thursday’s column is exclusively online as we did not have room in our fall sports preview section, but starting next week (Sept. 3), this article will be published in The Jefferson Herald sports section each Thursday through the remainder of the football season.
I’ll be making picks just for fun, perhaps a reference point for some of our readers or for friendly competition to see how we stack up. I may try to go off on a tangent from week to week before making my picks, but we shall see.
So here we go, week one has a arrived and football is back in our lives once again. Major college football is still a week away, so we are sticking to local high school games this week. When the college games do start up, I will add the spreads as well.
The weekly football contest is straight up, but I will pick against the spread, to make it a little more challenging.
To the picks!
***WINNERS ARE IN BOLD****
1. Greene County at Kuemper Catholic (Carroll)
I’ve got to go with the Rams here in a slight upset. New quarterback, new defense, but they find some magic.
2. Humboldt at Webster City
The Lynx are just too much as they return 1,000 yard rusher, Payton Kannuan. They won’t be as good this year but are still better than Humboldt.
3. Carroll at South Central Calhoun
A huge test for SCC but I’m taking the Tigers. They return a talented quarterback-wide receiver/running back duo in Kolby Molinsky and Dayton Ross from their 7-4 campaign last year. Titan receiver Kody Case is talented, but he can’t will them to an upset win. The talent gap will be just a little too big in this 2A vs. 3A matchup.
4. A-D-M at Dallas Center-Grimes
DC-G takes it. The Mustangs are just a bit more talented and a bit more veteran for the Tigers to have a chance at an upset.
5. Ballard at Carlisle
Carlisle battled its way to a 6-4 record in a top-heavy district last season but a veteran and top-10 ranked Ballard squad will be too much to handle. Senior quarterback Max Stoltz leads the Bombers to victory.
6. Cedar Falls at Fort Dodge
Two average teams that lost a lot offensively from a season ago. It’s basically a coin flip and I’ll go with Fort Dodge since they are playing at home.
7. Gilbert at Roland-Story
New Class 3A, district two squad Gilbert rolls over an abysmal Roland-Story squad with ease.
8. North Polk at Perry
The Comets shouldn’t have any trouble with the Bluejays as Perry went winless last fall and don’t have much hope for a different tale this season.
9. Coon Rapids-Bayard at Newell-Fonda
The Crusaders are loaded with returning starters on both sides of the ball and should prove to be one of the more improved teams in all of eight-man.
10. Glidden-Ralston at Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire
I’m giving this one to the Wildcats for the sheer reason that they have established a big-time winning tradition in Glidden. Plus, GT/RA lost one of their best players in program history to graduation.
11. Panorama at Des Moines Christian
This here, just going off last season is a bit of an upset special for the fact Des Moines Christian was just 4-6 in 2015. But they return their quarterback, Nathan Herbers, who threw for 20 touchdowns and Panorama lost their top three leading-rushers.
12. Eagle Grove at Southeast Valley
The Jaguars return their top-rushing duo from a season ago (Kaleb Jondle, Aaron Swieter) who combined for 22 touchdowns. They should have an easy time with Eagle Grove.
13. East Sac County at IKM-Manning
This is probably one of the tougher match ups to pick in week one. The two were locked in a 7-6 snooze fest a year ago and both squads lost a lot of talent. I give IKM-Manning the edge just for last year’s victory and being at home.
14. Woodward-Granger at Madrid
The Woodward-Granger Hawks don’t stand a chance against what should be a very fired up and very emotional Madrid squad. The Tigers are playing in their first game without the late, legendary head coach, Randy Hinkel, who was at the school for 27 years. It's at home, under the lights - Madrid wins easily.
15. Oskaloosa at Pella
The Little Dutch have won 28-straight games en route to back-to-back 3A state championships. It’s hard to envision Pella dropping the first game of 2016.
16. Dowling Catholic at Ankeny
The three-time defending 4A state champions, Dowling Catholic Maroons should face a bit of a test against Ankeny, but the dynasty that has exploded over the last five years is just a little too much for the Hawks.
17. Council Bluffs, Thomas Jefferson at Denison-Schleswig
Full disclosure: this could be an ugly game on both sides of the ball. These two teams combined for one win and 17 losses last season. I give Denison-Schleswig the slight edge, only because they are at home.
2016 record: 0-0