WEBSTER CITY — Fort Dodge has an undefeated file, a uncommon Top-5 rating in Class 4A, and the chance to begin 5-0 for simply the fifth time since World War II.
In the eyes of head coach Nik Moser, although, the highway to the District 1 championship nonetheless goes straight by way of Webster City.
That’s the place the Dodgers are headed on Friday night time, as Moser’s squad will go to Lynx Field for a comparatively historic modern-day matchup of area faculties on the gridiron. Not solely are the applications resurrecting a collection which has sat dormant for 56 years, however Fort Dodge is dealing with its first Messengerland opponent of any form since final squaring off with Humboldt in 1969.
A shift on the high of Iowa’s largest highschool class this previous offseason left the Dodgers in 4A and bumped Webster City up and into each the identical class and district as FDSH. With the addition of a 5A class to the panorama, Fort Dodge went from one of many 10 smallest 4A applications to the fourth largest. WCHS, in the meantime, ranks thirtieth out of 36 in 4A enrollment.
That doesn’t imply something to Moser, and received’t matter in any respect when the Dodgers attempt to corral a Webster City program that’s 52-15 since 2015.
“They are the team to beat in the district,” Moser stated. “I made that assertion again within the preseason, and I stand by it at this time. Until one in all us knocks them off, they deserve that title. They’re the one program among the many six of us (in District 1) to win one final yr, they usually have quite a lot of key elements again from that ballclub.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for us. Playing an area school for the first time in over 50 years, knowing it’s an important piece to the (district race) and how good Webster City is…I would say it ranks as one of the bigger regular-season games we’ve had in quite some time. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Fort Dodge stored its unbeaten mark intact at 4-0 by closing the pre-district portion of its schedule with a slim 22-21 victory at Marshalltown final week. The Lynx, in the meantime, evened their file at 2-2 by blasting Mason City, 36-3.
Webster City’s solely losses to this point have been to opponents ranked within the Top-5 on the time: Humboldt (3A) and Waverly-Shell Rock (4A).
“They’re a tough, physical bunch — typical Bob Howard team,” Moser stated, giving a nod of respect to the legendary head coach. “The observe file speaks for itself. Bob Howard has been round for a very long time (forty fifth season as a head coach). He’s a Hall of Famer with a number of state championships on his resume, and he’s accomplished it the proper manner.
“It’s the kind of coach and program you look to as a successful barometer.”
Howard, a local of Madrid, took the Webster City job in 2007 after a legendary 27-year stint at Sigourney-Keota. He received 229 video games and three state titles at S-Okay.
Howard is 101-51 with the Lynx. Adding the 22 victories from early in his profession at Scranton, Howard’s 352 profession wins are sixth in Iowa highschool historical past.
Webster City and its vaunted single-wing offense blends deception with decisiveness. The Lynx aren’t flashy, wanting to put on opponents down within the trenches.
They did simply that to the Mohawks final Friday, grinding out 295 of their 330 complete yards on the bottom. Wingback CJ Hisler completed with 99 yards dashing, adopted by spinback Ty McKinney (69 yards), tailback Connor Hanson (64) and tailback Jaxon Cherry (63).
The Webster City protection, in the meantime, surrendered solely 151 yards to Mason City — simply 23 on the bottom — whereas recording 5 sacks.
“We’ll have to take what the defense gives us,” Moser stated. “Fortunately, we’ve been comparatively balanced thus far this yr. We have choices. And I’m positive we’ll have to make some changes.
“Defensively, this is going to be a test. It’s smashmouth football.”
Howard shared comparable sentiments — and compliments — when it got here to the Dodgers.
“This is a huge challenge and (the players) know what the deal is. We shouldn’t have to rely on fire-up speeches,” Howard stated. “They certainly should be the favorites and they’re essentially twice as big as we are. We’re 2-2, so we ought to be the underdog every week. Plus, they’ve got a lot of nice skill kids and a lot of one-way players.”
The Lynx see loads of layers to Fort Dodge’s assault. Senior Jon Presswood has rushed for 540 yards and 5 touchdowns, with junior quarterback Connor Carver throwing for 798 yards and finishing over 62 p.c of his passes.
“The bigger scare for me is Presswood, who carried the ball 37 times against Marshalltown (for 189 yards last week). So we need to be able to stop the run first,” Howard stated. “(Junior Javion) Jondle (23 catches, 288 yards) is a very good receiver on the outside, but our first challenge is limiting their running game.”
Hisler, a junior, has 339 yards on simply 43 carries. Cherry, only a sophomore, leads Webster City with 4 dashing touchdowns. He’s rushed 36 occasions for 192 yards.
Junior quarterback Ty McKinney has 250 yards passing and 160 dashing. He’s thrown 4 TD passes, and has but to be intercepted.
Senior Devon Stokes is the Lynx’s main tackler. Sophomore Keegan Hisler has 4.5 sacks.
Fort Dodge, which at the moment has its highest rating since 1984, leads the all-time collection, 19-2-1. Webster City took the final assembly in 1965 by a 21-6 closing at Dodger Stadium.
All however three video games between the applications got here earlier than 1934.
Dodger caravan to Webster City deliberate
The Fort Dodge soccer program is planning a caravan to Webster City for the sport on Friday night time.
The staff will go away Dodger Stadium at 5:20 p.m. All households, buddies and followers are inspired to be a part of and comply with the squad to Lynx Field.
“The kids are really excited about this idea,” FDSH head coach Nik Moser stated. “I’d love to see hundreds of Dodgers make the journey. It’s solely 25 miles. We timed it: 28 minutes and 30 seconds.
“This is kind of a sleeping giant of a rivalry. I think it’s great. Fort Dodge hasn’t played a road game this close in over 50 years. I hope as many people as possible will take advantage.”
Please be on the Stadium prior to 5:20 p.m. so as to get in line. The buses, vans and cheerleaders will paved the way to Webster City High School.
Kickoff between the No. 4 Dodgers (4-0) and Lynx (2-2) is ready for 7 p.m. Fort Dodge and Webster City are squaring off in soccer for the primary time since 1965.