You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Waukee Northwest 17, Sioux City East 7: Wolves riding a three-game winning streak

Des Moines Register 10/1/2022 Cody Goodwin, Des Moines Register

The Week 6 formula was pretty simple for Waukee Northwest.

Start with a heavy dose of running back Brady Grisham, add a couple of touchdowns from quarterback Sam Johnson, plus a stingy defense.

The final result for the Wolves this Friday was a decisive 17-7 win over a top-10 Sioux City East team. Northwest is now 3-3 overall. The Black Raiders drop to 4-2 after back-to-back losses here in Central Iowa.

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox.

With three weeks left in the regular season for Class 5A teams, this particular matchup carried importance for both schools.

For East, it was a chance to bounce back after a tough loss to Ankeny Centennial last week. The Raiders let a 13-0 first-quarter lead turn into a 31-28 defeat. This mistake-filled performance did not inspire the same level of confidence as last week.

For Northwest, it was a chance to get back to .500 after an 0-3 start. A Grisham-led rushing attack led to a third-straight game and perhaps offered a blueprint for how to attack their final three games of the season.

Cooper Chiafos makes a catch during Waukee Northwest's game against Sioux City East on Friday at Waukee Northwest High School. © Ginnie Coleman/For the Register Cooper Chiafos makes a catch during Waukee Northwest's game against Sioux City East on Friday at Waukee Northwest High School.

Grisham and Johnson led Northwest’s offense

Sam Johnson has been the catalyst behind Northwest’s three-game winning streak. In wins over Johnston and Sioux City West, the junior accumulated 440 total yards of offense and scored six touchdowns.

Johnson starred again against East, finishing 7-of-13 passing for 81 yards, rushing for another 103 on 18 carries and accounting for both of Northwest’s touchdowns — a 1-yard sneak in the first quarter to put the Wolves up 10-0, then a 3-yard pass to Isaiah Moody in the second to make it 17-0, Northwest.

If Johnson is the Wolves’ fantasy star, Brady Grisham is the workhorse.

The senior running back rushed 33 times for 154 yards against East, far and away a season-high, and added two receptions for 39 yards. His 193 total yards accounted for 58% of Northwest’s total offense (330 yards).

The more involved those guys are, the better Northwest’s offense plays.

East’s offense struggled on this night

East entered Friday night with the fourth-best scoring offense in Class 5A, at 37 points per game. That was ahead of fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy (36.4), fourth-ranked Southeast Polk (34.8) and second-ranked Dowling Catholic (34.4), among others.

Northwest held East to 251 total yards of offense and just seven points, their lowest-scoring output since Centennial blanked them 30-0 last season.

The Raiders’ lone touchdown — Preston Dobbs won a jump-ball for a 3-yard score — came on their opening drive of the second half. They reached Northwest’s 3-yard line late in the second quarter, but Grant Macke broke up Cole Ritchie’s fourth-down pass.

There wasn’t much offensive rhythm for East. Ritchie finished 22-of-47 for 166 yards. Give credit to Northwest’s defense, which forced three turnovers and hounded Ritchie all night — Cael Winter had two tackles for loss and Hunter Smith added a sack.

Sioux City East quarterback Cole Ritchie throws a pass against Waukee Northwest on Friday at Waukee Northwest High School. © Ginnie Coleman/For the Register Sioux City East quarterback Cole Ritchie throws a pass against Waukee Northwest on Friday at Waukee Northwest High School.

Time to start thinking about the Class 5A RPI

The other reason this game carried intrigue is because of what it’ll mean for potential postseason positioning. The Iowa High School Athletic Association is expected to release its first official RPI standings after this week.

For Northwest, a win to get back to 3-3 helps a lot, and their tough schedule down the stretch — the Wolves face Ankeny Centennial (4-2), Ankeny (5-1) and Urbandale (4-2) to finish the regular season — may help them if they can get to 5-4.

For East, this loss, coupled with the loss last week to Centennial, may hurt them. At 4-2, they’re in better position than most, but may need to win out — they play Des Moines East (1-5), Des Moines Roosevelt (3-3), Sioux City West (3-4) — to reach the playoffs.

The math will reveal where each 5A team stands, and make the final three weeks of the regular season all the more intriguing.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

Wyatt Christensen of Waukee Northwest is tackled by Dane Milton of Sioux City East on Friday at Waukee Northwest High School. © Ginnie Coleman/For the Register Wyatt Christensen of Waukee Northwest is tackled by Dane Milton of Sioux City East on Friday at Waukee Northwest High School.

Waukee Northwest 17, Sioux City East 7

SCE 0 0 7 0 — 7WNW 10 7 0 0 — 17

Passing — SCE: Cole Ritchie, 22-47, 166, 1 TD; WNW: Sam Johnson, 7-13, 81, 1 TD.

Rushing — SCE: Brady Wavrunek, 7-27; WNW: Brady Grisham, 33-154.

Receiving — SCE: Kelynn Jacobsen, 10-62; WNW: Brady Grisham, 2-39.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Waukee Northwest 17, Sioux City East 7: Wolves riding a three-game winning streak

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon