Cody Goodwin said on 1460 KXnO that Friday night’s football game at Drake Stadium was the biggest in 25 years for Des Moines Roosevelt.
The Ankeny Hawks played like it was a marquee game for themselves from the opening snap, sticking it to the 3-0 Cinderella, 28-14.
“We won so I guess I can’t complain about that,” Ankeny coach Rick Nelson said. “We could have played a little bit crisper. We had some good plays, but they’re a much better football team than they were a year ago. It’s the same kids, so their coaches have done really a nice job with them. I’m glad we won. We started 1-4 the last couple of years so this will give us a good little bit of momentum.”
Running back Colin Kadolph and wideout Jordan Kumm led the way for the Hawks on offense, each going over 100 yards on the night and combining to score all four of Ankeny’s touchdowns.
Kumm ended with 173 yards on eight catches while fellow wideout Brody Brecht was held without a reception.
“We just knew coming into the game that they’d go [with] man,” Kumm said. “They obviously know who Brody Brecht is. The middle was open and we just took advantage of that. I feel like we have one of the best receiving corps in the state.”
Brecht thinks that, with the effort that Kumm gives, it will be no time before some big universities start hitting up his phone line.
“[Kumm] played a heck of a game,” Brecht said. “After this game he should be getting a heck of a lot of offers. I don’t know why he hasn’t. I hope some [college] coaches see, because he’s a hard worker.”
On the defensive side of the ball, it was Caleb Rathjen coming up big, hauling in two interceptions including the one that clinched the victory for his team.
“(Rathjen) is a fun kid to watch,” Brecht said. “He can ‘put up’ anywhere. He’s a great athlete.”
After the Ankeny offense scored barely 1 minute into the game and the defense forced a three-and-out on Roosevelt’s first possession, it looked like it might be a one-sided affair.
Both defenses stepped up with a plethora of big plays in the first quarter. Each team had four possessions in the opening 12 minutes, but the two teams exited the frame with the Hawks leading 14-0.
Ankeny had all of the control.
The Hawks, however, had their lapses, including a blocked punt for Roosevelt early in the second quarter. Antonio Alzheimer recovered the ball in the end zone for the Roughriders in what would be their only touchdown in the first half.
Ankeny later scored again as Kadolph broke loose for a 21-yard run to the end zone, giving his team a 21-7 lead.
The dominant play by the Ankeny defense was something that the Roughriders haven’t experienced much of at all this year.
The team was averaging 44.0 points per game coming into Friday night’s matchup, and they couldn’t move the ball at all in the first half.
If Ankeny kept the ball away from Roosevelt in the second half, the Roughriders wouldn’t even be able to correct their mistakes from the first.
“Yeah we were trying to eat the clock,” Nelson said. “We were seeing if we could get a drive in (without) throwing the football (a lot).”
The Hawks would kick it off to start the second half, but would quickly get the ball and let the offense go to work and run some time off of the clock.
Ankeny would go on to score and eventually finish off the Roughriders, who thought they might have a shot at upsetting the current balance in Iowa high school football.
“We have not played a clean game yet,” Nelson said. “We’re going to need to next week. I think we can be really good. I’m just hoping we can put one together and see what we can do against Dowling Catholic.”
Ankeny will return to the field Friday to face the six-time defending state champions at Ankeny Stadium. The game is slated to kick off at 7 p.m.