WATCH: Iowa high school football Week 2 highlights

Week 2 of Iowa high school football was a blast. Here are some highlights from the games our reporters covered.

Matthew Bain, Des Moines Register

Hey, friends.

Matthew Bain here, back for another Friday night. Remember when I said Week 1 might be hard to live up to? Well, Week 2 did it. And then some.

So, because this seemed to work last Friday, I’ll say it again: Week 2 might be hard to live up to. Let’s see if Week 3 is up for the task. The schedule is excellent, especially in central Iowa. That certainly helps.

In Class 5A, No. 2 Dowling Catholic takes on No. 6 Ankeny in a rematch of last year’s instant-classic state semifinal. Fifth-ranked Urbandale plays eighth-ranked Valley in a CIML battle of unbeatens. Up north, Ames hosts No. 7 Iowa City High in the Little Cy-Hawk game. Out east, No. 3 Cedar Rapids Kennedy plays Class 4A No. 6 Cedar Rapids Washington in the battle for Cedar Rapids.

In Class 4A, No. 3 Indianola plays No. 9 Pella and No. 7 Norwalk clashes with No. 8 Lewis Central. Fourth-ranked Winterset hosts the No. 1 team in Class 1A, Van Meter, for a rare 4A-1A contest.

The Des Moines Register’s High School Football Rankings for Week 3

The Des Moines Register’s Class Rankings for Week 3 of the 2021 high school football season.

Cody Goodwin, Des Moines Register

As usual, I’ll be hanging out on my couch, keeping track of everything that happens on football fields across the state tonight. Consider this your one-stop shop for all things Iowa high school football in Week 3.

Cody Goodwin is posted up at Valley Stadium for that highly anticipated Dowling-Ankeny rematch. Tommy Birch will check out Valley vs. Urbandale and Joe Randleman is up at the Little Cy-Hawk game. Dargan Southard is on hand as Iowa State tight end recruit Gabe Burkle and fourth-ranked Prairie battle Cedar Falls. Matt Levins is covering New London vs. Winfield-Mt. Union, the latter of which features Iowa 2024 recruit and 8-player unicorn Cam Buffington. And Joe Geren is on hand for West Burlington-Notre Dame vs. Mediapolis.

We’ll also have additional photos from Waukee at Ankeny Centennial. With a win, Jaguars head coach Jerry Pezzetti would record win No. 433, which would break an all-time Iowa high school football head coaching record.


10:35 p.m. You like final scores?

Yeah, we do, too. That’s why we’ve got a full list of them right here.

10:21 p.m. It’s over

Class 4A No. 3 Indianola 44, Class 4A No. 9 Pella 37. What a win for Indianola, which, despite being the higher-ranked team, felt like an underdog this week. Outside central Iowa’s largest-class schools, Pella has traditionally been that next-biggest flagship football program.

Indianola has different ideas this year, though. What a win. On the road.

This team is legit.

10:18 p.m. Free. Burgers.

Erickson gets his second sack in a row. Pella now has 4-and-26 at the 15, 59 seconds to go. Wow. #iahsfb

— JohnNaughton (@JohnNaughton) September 11, 2021

10:17 p.m. CLUTCH SACK!

Indianola’s Carter Erickson should get free burgers in town for the rest of the year if this result holds. Man, what a clutch play. Remember, Indianola is the somewhat new kid in town when it comes to central Iowa powers outside the large-school class. And Pella has traditionally been the cream of the crop.

Carter Erickson sacks Meyer, Pella facing a third-and-18 at its own 22. It’s his third sack of the year. Pella with 1:20 left, trailing 44-37. #iahsfb

— JohnNaughton (@JohnNaughton) September 11, 2021

10:13 p.m. This Indianola vs. Pella game is wild right now

Scores back and forth … and back and forth again. Kael Kolarik just put Class 4A No. 3 Indianola up 44-37 over Class 4A No. 9 Pella with 2:08 left.

Kolarik runs for a 5-yard TD, extra point misses. Indianola 44, Pella 37 with 2:08 left. #iahsfb

— JohnNaughton (@JohnNaughton) September 11, 2021

10:03 p.m. Trophy time for the Little Hawks

It’s trophy time for No. 7 Iowa City High, which demolished Ames, 43-5, in the Little Cy-Hawk game Friday night. Let’s just say a final score like that is not expected in the Big Cy-Hawk game Saturday afternoon.

10 p.m. Southeast Polk beat Waukee Northwest, by the way

No. 1 Rams 27, Wolves 7.

Waukee Northwest certainly didn’t get any favors in its first-ever schedule, playing Valley, Dowling and Southeast Polk in the first three weeks. It plays Johnston, which beat Dallas Center-Grimes 17-16 tonight, in Week 4.

9:59 p.m. Looking for a game to watch?

It’s this one: Indianola vs. Pella.

9:57 p.m. Lewis Central just too good

Another game we were keeping our eyes on tonight? Class 4A No. 7 Norwalk vs. No. 8 Lewis Central. The Titans are my pick to win 4A, and their performance tonight makes me feel pretty dang good about that pick.

Led by four-star Iowa State defensive tackle recruit Hunter Deyo, Lewis Central dominated Norwalk to the tune of 31-3. It was 21-0 at halftime and 31-0 late before the Warriors put a field goal through to get on the board.

9:52 p.m. Notable 8-player result

New London just trounced Winfield-Mt. Union, 71-18, tonight. That result is particularly of note because Iowa 2024 recruit Cam Buffington plays for Winfield-Mt. Union. If you don’t know him, Buffington is the 8-player unicorn who’s putting up numbers so far this year that are wild; he entered tonight with 19 touchdowns already.

How was New London able to control him?

Okay New London, message sent.

The Tigers protect their home field with a 71-18 thrashing of Winfield-Mount Union.

That’s a big win for Mark McSorely’s group as they improve to 2-0. #iahsfb

— Nathan Bloechl (@NathanBloechl) September 11, 2021

9:47 p.m. Big performance from one of the state’s top remaining prospects

Ankeny receiver/tight end Brady McCullough caught three touchdown passes in Ankeny’s 27-13 win over Dowling Catholic tonight. Heck of a performance from our No. 18 in-state football prospect, with FCS offers, including from Northern Iowa, and Power Five interest from Iowa and Iowa State.

9:44 p.m. Checking in on the Little Cy-Hawk game …

And Iowa City High has pulled away in big-time fashion against Ames.

These Little Hawks are legitimate. They’re ranked No. 7 this week and could rise next week, depending on what happens around them in the Class 5A top 10.

Darren Richardson busts loose for a 76-yard touchdown run as Iowa City sews up the Little Cy-Hawk trophy by taking a 43-3 lead over Ames with 6:03 left in the fourth quarter.

— Joe Randleman (@JoeRandleman) September 11, 2021

9:39 p.m. Hardwood talent in the gridiron

One of Iowa’s very best 2023 basketball prospects, Indianola combo guard Drew Kingery, our No. 2 in-state 2023 prospect, is also a quality receiver … which isn’t a huge surprise coming from an athletic, 6-foot-5 talent.

He just hauled in a 42-yard touchdown reception to make it Indianola 38, Pella 31, late in the third quarter of that thrilling top-10 Class 4A matchup.

Kingery holds a basketball offer from North Dakota, and South Dakota State has been picking up its interest lately.

9:35 p.m. Big win for Valley

After giving up a 14-0 halftime lead with three second-half turnovers to enter overtime tied 14-14 with No. 5 Urbandale, No. 8 Valley scored first and picked the J-Hawks off to clinch a big, 21-14 win on the road.

Quarterback Mason Morrow’s 1-yard rushing touchdown proved to be the difference. Tommy Birch has the story of what we learned from that game.

9:30 p.m. Indianola vs. Pella is a thriller

The Class 4A battle for central Iowa supremacy is turning out even better than we’d hoped. Can the Dutch hold on?

The Dutch kickoff is returned to the Indianola 25. 1st & 10 Indians.

Pella 31 ?Indianola 24 Q3#godutch #domin8

— Pella Dutch Football (@PellaDutchFB) September 11, 2021

9:23 p.m. Mice like football, too

At least this mouse did at Kingstom Stadium during Cedar Rapids Kennedy vs. Cedar Rapids Washington, which Kennedy leads, 27-7, in the third quarter.

9:20 p.m. These Ankeny Hawks can win a state title

It’s final over at Valley Stadium

No. 6 Ankeny 27, No. 2 Dowling Catholic 13.

If the Hawks play like this, and not like in a Week 2, 14-7 loss to Ankeny Centennial, then my Class 5A title game prediction of Southeast Polk vs. Ankeny looks very smart and a lot less crazy.

Final: Ankeny 27, Dowling Catholic 13.

JJ Kohl was spectacular: 13/15, 144 yards, 4 touchdowns.

Brady McCullough was his favorite target: 8-124-3.

That Hawks defense is still mean as hell, man. Dominant performance overall. Ankeny controlled this game the whole way. #iahsfb

— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) September 11, 2021

9:17 p.m. Should we be surprised? 

No. No, we shouldn’t be surprised Class 1A No. 1 Van Meter just beat Class 4A No. 4 Winterset, 28-13. I’ll go on the record as saying the Bulldogs could at least be competitive in any class.

9:15 p.m. Tommy Birch: The OT Magnet

It’s 14-14 with just over 30 seconds left in No. 5 Urbandale vs. No. 8 Valley. Looks like it’ll go to overtime. Tommy Birch is covering that game; he was also on hand for the Week 1 double-overtime game between Valley and Waukee Northwest.

The Tigers led the J-Hawks at halftime.

9:12 p.m. Remember this name: Titus Cram

He is a superstar athlete for Bondurant-Farrar, and he’s just a 2024 prospect, so currently a sophomore. Get ready to see plenty more big plays like this from him over the next few years. You’d better believe colleges will be paying attention.

9:09 p.m. Big play from an Iowa recruit

Southeast Valley 2022 defensive end Aaron Graves, a four-star talent who’s been committed to Iowa since way back in June 2019, has a knack for dominating small-school Iowa football.

This blocked punt is just another example.

Southeast Valley is up 26-7 at the half.

Graves has been really good on the offensive line. Hampton-Dumont has thrown double teams at him when he’s on defense.

Here is Graves blocking a punt late in the first half to set up a score.

— Sean Bock (@SBock247) September 11, 2021

9:06 p.m. Looks like we’ve got a thriller in Urbandale

After forcing a third second-half turnover, fifth-ranked Urbandale finally secures the equalizer against eighth-ranked Valley with an 18-yard run from Benjamin Booth.

Urbandale 14, Valley 14, just under five minutes left.

8:58 p.m. He did it!

Ankeny Centennial beat Waukee, 42-7, meaning Jaguars head coach Jerry Pezzetti now has 433 career wins, a new all-time record in Iowa.

Cody Goodwin has the full story on the historic achievement. 

8:54 p.m. Hey there, Southeast Polk

Well, the eyes-wide reaction from Southeast Polk vs. Waukee Northwest was short-lived. The top-ranked Rams trailed Waukee Northwest, 7-6, at halftime.

Now, entering the fourth? It’s 20-7, Rams.

8:48 p.m. Hello, Urbandale defense!

No. 5 Urbandale vs. No. 8 Valley has turned into one of the more captivating games of the night, as the J-Hawks’ mean defense has just recovered a fumble in the waning seconds of the third quarter to take over the ball at the Tigers’ 35-yard line.

Valley currently leads 14-7.

8:42 p.m. Little Cy-Hawk looks good so far

City High has taken a 14-3 lead into halftime over Ames in the Little Cy-Hawk game. Other than a 37-yard scoop-and-score from Little Hawks linebacker Ben Kueter, who holds offers from Iowa State and Minnesota, 14 seconds into the game, this has been a pretty even battle.

The Little Cyclones were threatening to score late in the first half until a strong play on defense from City High.

8:38 p.m. Keith Moko is really good

Want an underrated central Iowa star who will play Division I football?

Try watching Newton’s Keith Moko. He’s a 6-foot-2 super athlete committed to Northern Iowa. He plays both ways for Newton (as evidenced here by his eye-popping touchdown reception) but will likely play safety or cornerback in college.

Iowa is keeping an eye on him, too. We’ve got him ranked No. 25 in the in-state 2022 football recruiting rankings.

an 81-yard reception by Keith Moko and a three-yard carry from Arguello puts Newton up 28-7 with 2:23 left in the third. Marshalltown has had plenty of trouble in the defensive secondary tonight. #iahsfb

— noah (@noahrohlfing) September 11, 2021

8:33 p.m. Jerry Pezzetti is going to break the all-time wins record

Ankeny Centennial leads Waukee, 42-0, in a running-clock game late in the third quarter. This win will give Jaguars head coach Jerry Pezzetti 433 for his storied career, breaking the all-time wins record in Iowa.

Keep an eye on Cody Goodwin’s Twitter feed for a story on that later tonight.

8:32 p.m. Ankeny putting its foot down vs. Dowling

Oh, man. This is turning into a potential blowout.

If Ankeny plays like this, it can repeat as state champion.

Well. Dowling’s defense begins the second half by forcing a punt, then muffs it, giving Ankeny the ball back at the 10-yard-line. Two plays later, Kohl hits McCullough for a 4-yard touchdown. Quick route, quick pass, good stuff.

Ankeny 21, Dowling 3, 7:33 left in Q3. #iahsfb

— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) September 11, 2021

8:30 p.m. What can’t he do?

Cedar Falls athlete Trey Campbell is our No. 4 in-state 2022 basketball prospect, and he’s already committed to Northern Iowa. But he also held a UNI offer in football and is our No. 35 in-state 2022 football prospect as a receiver.

Turns out … he can pass, too? C’mon, Trey. Leave something for everyone else.

What a swing here. Trey Campbell on the reverse, throws a TD pass to a wide-open Aiden Sorenson. Tigers have the last 17.

Cedar Falls 17, Prairie 7, 4:26/2Q. #iahsfb

— Dargan Southard (@Dargan_Southard) September 11, 2021

8:20 p.m. A game was canceled this week due to COVID-19

In case you were looking for any Iowa City Regina vs. Mid-Prairie updates here, that game was canceled. The Golden Hawks didn’t have enough players due to a spike in COVID-19 among the team, as well as injuries.

I believe that is the first known Iowa high school football game in 2021 to be affected due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, Friday night’s football game home vs Regina will be cancelled due to circumstances outside of our control. The game will not be rescheduled. The JV football game September 13 vs Regina is still scheduled to take place. #MPHawks

— Mid-Prairie CSD (@Mid_Prairie) September 7, 2021

8:17 p.m. Um … let’s keep an eye on this


You’re Waukee Northwest.

You’ve played tough in Week 1 and 2 losses to Valley and West Des Moines.

Your reward?

A Week 3 tilt against No. 1 Southeast Polk.

And guess what? The Wolves lead the top-ranked Rams, 7-6, at halftime. Wouldn’t that be something if the first win in Waukee Northwest history came against the overwhelming Class 5A title favorites? Crazier things have happened …

8:15 p.m. Heck of a game going on in Harlan

This is another top-10 matchup between Class 3A No. 2 Harlan and No. 6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton, which was my preseason pick for the 3A title game. Harlan leads, 28-26, at halftime in what has been an entertaining game so far.

End of Half Harlan 28 SBL 26

What a treat this has been so far. Explosiveness has been the name of the game so far. Kasperbauer is over 150 yards passing, Hall has 3 TDS to his name, and Smith for the Warriors has made it work both on the ground and the air. #kmasports #iahsfb

— Ethan Hewett (@hewett_ethan) September 11, 2021

For me, the good: SB-L quarterback Tyler Smith is my quarterback from the USA TODAY Network Iowa high school fantasy football draft.

The bad: Harlan is my defense.

8:10 p.m. Halftime scores

Some halftime scores from around the CIML and the state …

Valley 14, Urbandale 0

Ankeny 14, Dowling Catholic 3

Aplington-Parkersburg 21, Jesup 12

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 44, Dunkerton 6

Iowa City High 14, Ames 3

West Branch 42, Maquoketa Valley 0

Wilton 25, Highland 14

Nevada 36, Roland-Story 7

Mediapolis 28, West Burlington-Notre Dame 0

Harlan 28, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 26

Independence 39, West Liberty 0

8:05 p.m. Cedar Rapids Washington takes early lead in battle for Cedar Rapids

Remember, this is a battle between Class 5A No. 3 Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Class 4A No. 6 Cedar Rapids Washington, led by superstar safety Watts McBride, who holds an offer from Nebraska. The Cougars have had the edge in this rivalry over the past few years, but this is a new Washington squad. Lots of talent.

Washington drives 92 yards on 5 plays. Miles Thompson with a 16-yard TD run. Started left, reversed field and dove for the pylon to get in. PAT good. 7-0 CRW with 6:30 to go in 1Q. #iahsfb

— K.J. Pilcher (@kjpilcher) September 11, 2021

7:57 p.m. Valley taking command against Urbandale

Urbandale’s defense looked like one of the best in the state through a 13-3 win over Bettendorf and 17-7 win over Johnston. And the J-Hawks’ defense still looks pretty good tonight against Valley.

But the No. 8 Tigers’ defense is playing better, leading No. 5 Urbandale, 14-0, in the second quarter. Quarterback Mason Morrow hit Cade Grevengoed from 4 yards out for the second score.

7:53 p.m. In case you needed a reminder: Van Meter is GOOD

Van Meter is the No. 1 team in Class 1A. It would be a shock if it doesn’t at least make it to the UNI-Dome for the state semifinals. Proof? The Bulldogs are in full command early against Winterset, a quality Class 4A team ranked No. 4 in that class.

I swear. It feels like Van Meter could compete in every class.

7:46 p.m. Old blood vs. new blood

So, Pella has long been a flagship program for non-largest class central Iowa football dominance, right? Well, Indianola, with stars like Kael Kolarik and Carter Erickson, look like a new team to beat in central Iowa. The two are squaring off in a top-10 Class 4A battle, and Indianola has taken the early lead. (Indianola is No. 3; Pella is No. 9.)

And, of course, it’s Kolarik getting things going. 

Indianola’s Kael Kolarik breaks loose for a 75-yard TD run on the second play from scrimmage. Indians lead Pella 7-0 with 11:42 left in Q1. #iahsfb

— JohnNaughton (@JohnNaughton) September 11, 2021

7:40 p.m. Jerry Pezzetti marching toward history

So, Ankeny Centennial leads Waukee, 28-0, midway through the second quarter.

Remember: If the Jaguars win, that would give longtime head coach Jerry Pezzetti 433 career wins, which would break the all-time record in Iowa. 

(I think he’s gonna do it.)

7:36 p.m. Ankeny is in control early vs. Dowling

It’s now 14-0 in Ankeny vs. Dowling after J.J. Kohl found Brady McCullough in the back of the end zone from 4 yards out. An interception by star safety Ryan Crandall helped set up the scoring drive.

This is the Hawks team we expected to see in the preseason … much different from last week’s Hawks that lost, 14-7, to Ankeny Centennial. (Although the Jaguars look pretty dang good tonight against Waukee.)

There’s 8:14 left in the second quarter between the No. 2 Maroons and No. 6 Hawks.

Touchdown, Ankeny. The Maroons were driving but then English got picked off again, this time by Ryan Crandall. Hawks march down the field and Kohl hits McCullough for a 4-yard score in the back of the end zone.

Ankeny 14, Dowling 0, 8:14 until half. #iahsfb

— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) September 11, 2021

7:30 p.m. “Yay, defense!”

That’s probably what fans are saying at No. 8 Valley vs. No. 5 Urbandale right now.


7:26 p.m. Quick start for the Little Hawks

City High has jumped out ahead of Ames 14 seconds into the Little Cy-Hawk game thanks to a scoop-and-score from City High 2023 linebacker Ben Kueter, who has landed his first two offers from Minnesota and Iowa State this fall.

So … would the comparison be Iowa’s Jack Campbell doing the same tomorrow?

7:22 p.m. Before the Big Cy-Hawk game … 

… there’s the Little Cy-Hawk game, between the Ames Little Cyclones and the Iowa City High Little Hawks. This is one of the games I’m most excited to follow tonight. Not only because it’s the prequel to the most anticipated Iowa vs. Iowa State football game ever.

But also because this is an intriguing game. City High, now No. 7 in our rankings, has outscored opponents, 109-0, so far. But Ames is its toughest opponent yet. We’ll learn a lot about both squads tonight.

7:19 p.m. I see you, Toebe

You might know of Clear Lake junior Carson Toebe the most as a basketball player. He’s the Register’s No. 19 in-state 2022 basketball prospect with Division II interest from the likes of Truman State and others.

But the physical, 6-foot-3 guard is also a quality quarterback. He’s got his Lions off to a quick start in Week 3 vs. Class 1A No. 8 Dike-New Hartford.

Carson Toebe connects with Trevaughn Luyobya for a 19-yard touchdown. Clear Lake leads #7 (1A) Dike-New Hartford 7-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter. #iahsfb

— Dylan Anderson (@danderson3495) September 11, 2021

7:15 p.m. A perfect start for Ankeny vs. Dowling

After their very lackluster performance in a 14-7 loss to Ankeny Centennial last week, the No. 6 Hawks have gotten off to just about a perfect start in their Week 3 tilt against No. 2 Dowling Catholic.

Ankeny drove down the field, featuring a 36-yard pass from J.J. Kohl to Brady McCullough, before scoring on this swing pass to Colin Kadolph.

Touchdown, Ankeny. JJ Kohl hits Colin Kadolph on this 2-yard swing pass. Set up after Kohl hit Brady McCullough for 36 to reach the 4-yard line, which came right after Ankeny picked off Dowling QB Jake English.

Ankeny leads 7-0, 7:09 left in Q1. #iahsfb

— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) September 11, 2021

7:10 p.m. Oh that’s a clean midfield logo right there

Wanna know what the Waukee Northwest Wolves’ midfield logo looks like at the brand-new school’s brand-spanking-new football stadium? It’s clean, folks. Crisp and clean.

7 p.m. Riverside remembers 9/11

Before its Week 3 game against Mount Ayr, the Riverside football team ran onto the field carrying seven American flags to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Chances are there will be other moments of remembrance tonight, as well.

6:48 p.m. Lots and lots of photos

Again, it’s time for the tried-and-true tradition of sports reporters posting photos of the football fields they’re at in the 30 minutes or so before kickoff.

Hey, what’s up, hellllooooo.

Happy Week 3 from Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. Live for tonight’s game between #2 Dowling Catholic and #6 Ankeny.

Rematch from last year’s epic state semifinal, but both teams are still stacked with talent. Should be fun. We kick at 7. #iahsfb

— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) September 10, 2021

“Our crowd is going to be here tonight. Let’s not let them down.”

Senior lineman Levi Meyer motivates the @scc_titans before they engage in pregame warmups.

The Titans are a half hour away from kickoff with Emmetsburg. #iahsfb

— The Graphic-Advocate (@GraphicAdvocate) September 10, 2021

Matthew Bain is the deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register. He still covers some recruiting, too. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.