Football teamLosing games, not hope

Well it’s time for the leaves to start falling, the temperature to start dropping, and helmets to start clashing. It’s football season, and every Friday night for the next five or so weeks the Ames High Varsity football team will take the field under the bright lights. With almost every starter from last season gone, this season seems to be a rebuilding year. The season may be a struggle with new quarterback Steven Fennelly taking over the reigns of Austin Arnaud. But the loss of Arnaud is not the biggest problem facing the team, but rather the lack of experience. With a tough, grueling loss to Roosevelt the first game of the season, Ames definitely has things to go over in video sessions. Some things they may need to go over are picking up blocks, preventing unnecessary penalties, and reading the defense. Junior Thomas Berg said, “The offensive line needs to pick it up, but the defense is doing good.” Berg has a point; Fennelly was scrambling on almost every play to get away from the Rough Rider defense. In addition, there was virtually no running game for Ames. But you can’t put all the blame on the offensive line, you win as a team and you lose as a team. But everything wasn’t all bad; there were definitely positives in the game. The offense converted on numerous fourth downs, the defense forced multiple turnovers, and on special teams Ames missed a 52 yard field goal by only one or two yards. In the overtime win against Sioux City West, Ames looked very rusty at the start of the game. Ames fell behind 14-0, but then blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. Ames was down 21-7 in the fourth quarter before senior Ben Dobbs stripped the ball and ran it 78 yards to the Sioux City 3 yard line, which set up a 3 yard run by senior Steven Fennelly. With time running out Fennelly threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to the star of the game, Dobbs. In overtime the Ames defense was able to shut out the Wolverines. Ames was unable to score a touchdown, but senior Joe Thompson nailed a 22-yard field goal to seal the win for Ames. In the 17-7 loss at South East Polk, the offense once again couldn’t get anything started, with just over 100 total yards of offense and 5 turnovers. To go along with the offensive woes, the special teams had problems of their own. Senior Jeff Houk had two punts blocked, with the first blocked punt at Ames’ own 3-yard line. But the defense once again played well. Both of the touchdowns the Rams scored started in Ames territory. The Little Cyclone defense forced four turnovers, three going to senior Tony Dempsey. Dempsey had two interceptions and a fumble recovery returned for Ames’s lone touchdown. Junior Taylor Knight also recovered a fumble. Senior John Fitzsimmons said, “Our defense is the key to the team and Josiah Fitzsimmons is the key to the defense.” When asked about what the team needs to do to improve, junior defensive back Ben Pyle said, “We need to try harder and unite or die.” Ames will definitely have to turn it up a notch in their games in the coming weeks, because no game is a given. If the team isn’t playing on the same page, they need to step it up and step it up soon, because the season has started and time is ticking until the playoffs start.