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Commentary: Dallas County a hotbed of football talent

Sam Martin smartin@adelnews.com
Sam Martin smartin@adelnews.com

Some of the state’s best football is being played on the gridirons of Dallas County.

For Class 1A’s second-most prolific scoring offense, look no further than Van Meter, where the Bulldogs are off to a 3-0 start following a 67-19 shellacking of Colfax-Mingo last week.

Van Meter has scored 19 touchdowns over that span, trailing only Nashua-Plainfield’s 21 in four games. The team is fourth in total yards, with 1,339, and averages 8.1 yards per play. Running back Cody Blackwell (341 yards, nine touchdowns) and quarterback Brandon Brittain (339 yards, six touchdowns) are second and third in the district in rushing yardage.

Waukee has won back-to-back games in convincing fashion after a close week-one loss to West Des Moines Valley. The Warriors are fourth in Class 4A in total scoring, thanks in large part to a 59-20 win at Mason City last week, and a 62-6 blowout victory in their home opener against Marshalltown on Sept. 6.

Trevor Allen is again carrying the load at running back, piling up 387 yards and seven touchdowns so far while averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Quarterback Ben Ferkin has thrown for 361 yards and five scores, and the defense has recorded nine sacks, seven fumble recoveries and four interceptions, two of which have been returned for touchdowns.

Dallas Center-Grimes is also off to a 2-1 start, including a season-opening victory against rival A-D-M, the Mustangs’ first win against the Tigers since 2008. Andrew Kramer has passed for 458 yards and six touchdowns, and run for 134 yards and three scores. Noah Weeks had 178 yards in the team’s first two games, and Chaz Chambers ran for 90 yards last week in his return to the lineup.

Dakota Clausen, Doug Heritage, Austin Winter and Keaton Means have each caught eight or more passes, and the defense is tied with Creston/Orient-Macksburg for the most interceptions in Class 3A, with eight, including three each by Jacob Mueller and Austin Kloewer.

A-D-M has won two of its first three games. Quarterback Kolby Whisner has thrown for 778 yards, the most in Class 3A District 1, and six touchdowns. Grant Goeden is second with 407 rushing yards and six scores, and Tate Jensen leads the district with 286 receiving yards on 20 catches, including two touchdowns.

After a rare regular-season loss, the team’s first in four seasons, Woodward-Granger has won back-to-back games, including a 32-0 blanking of Des Moines Christian in week two and a 47-7 win against Guthrie Center last week.

Marshall Nieland and Dylan Garland are each averaging more than 7 yards per carry. Nieland has racked up 325 rushing yards and Garland has recorded 260. Cole Ashman has completed 62 percent of his passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns, and Race Brant has nabbed three of the team’s six interceptions.

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