It’s a rivalry now.
On a week weighed down by local bragging rights and traditional tangles, Ankeny’s recently created crosstown battle stood up.
The third edition of Ankeny vs. Ankeny Centennial featured drama, the obligatory late drive, and, at long last, a win for the southside Hawks (2-1).
“I told the kids, ‘It can’t be a rivalry until we beat them,'” first-year Ankeny coach Rick Nelson told the Register before the game.
Other city showdowns played out well in Week 3 too, offering highlights on a Friday night featuring some blowouts and stunning starts.
It’s time to Take Five …
1. CLOSE CALLS
Ankeny missed a field goal with less than three minutes remaining that could have clinched its first victory against northside Centennial. In the end, though, it didn’t matter. In front of a packed crowd, the sixth-ranked Jaguars (2-1) drove the length of the field down 24-16, only to be sacked inside the 10-yard line as time expired.
The Hawks were hardly alone on rivalry week.
No. 10 Urbandale threatened to comeback at No. 9 Johnston, turning a 17-0 halftime deficit into a 17-10 game late in the fourth quarter. The Dragon (3-0) defense made a stop at the 1-yard line, and a 99-yard drive the other way helped seal a 24-17 win. No. 4 Dowling Catholic needed a fourth-down stop too, escaping Waukee’s attack with 10 seconds left on the road.
And one of the night’s closest calls is crushing for 3A Solon. The Spartans led 19-7 over No. 7 Cedar Rapids Xavier entering the fourth quarter, only to lose 22-19.
“Offensively we just have not found our stride yet and have not done a very good job of valuing the ball,” Solon coach Kevin Miller said before the game. “We turned the ball over 11 times in our first two games. I’ve had teams go all year without that many turnovers. Anything like that against Xavier, and it’ll be a long night.”
Miller and the Spartans might be up late wondering how Week 3 got away.
2. RIVALRY ROUTS
Not every classic clash can finish close.
No. 5 Harlan went to 4A Lewis Central and ran away with a 38-21 win.
Wearing American flag-themed helmet stickers on Sept. 11, Bettendorf pounded in-town rival Pleasant Valley, 27-3.
The Little Cy-Little Hawk series was quiet in its second annual appearance, as Iowa City High rolled through Ames with a 23-0 first half lead.
Out in western Iowa, defending Class A champ Logan-Magnolia handled visiting district foe Council Bluffs St. Albert, 35-7.
Those dominating wins might not be fun for every fan, but those winners can brag for at least another year.
3. STAMPING CONTENDER STATUS
Leave no doubt. Any questions surrounding some ranked teams’ stature have been answered for the third week in a row, like 4A’s No. 5 Fort Dodge and 1A’s No. 7 Dike-New Hartford.
The Dodgers (3-0) keep racking up blowouts and, according to the Fort Dodge Messenger News, have outscored opponents 130-0 in the first half.
Dike-New Hartford (3-0) took down another ranked foe, ripping Class A No. 5 Denver, 42-7.
And what about West Delaware? The second-ranked squad in 3A aced its biggest test with No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock and should be favored for the rest of the regular season.
4. IS THAT YOU?
Davenport West won two games in five years before this season. After Friday’s 28-20 win over Burlington, the Falcons moved to 3-0 this fall.
Also worth a shock in 4A was a battle of unbeatens with Ottumwa and Marshalltown. The Bobcats had won two games in the previous two seasons and were a few seconds from going 3-0 until an Ottumwa (3-0) field goal earned a 20-18 road win.
Independence made noise in Week 2 by beating defending 2A champion North Fayette Valley, and the momentum carried through at Decorah on Friday night. The Mustangs beat the Vikings for the first time in school history and moved to 3-0 for the first time since 1997.
Des Moines North had a competitive outing too, challenging rival Des Moines Hoover to try to snap a 26-game losing streak. The Polar Bears fell short at their homecoming, 19-17.
5. ONE MORE WEEK
Class 4A teams have a last round of non-district games, and that means one more week of rivalry games and new nonconference trips.
Week 4 promises to have great games, but one could overshadow the rest.
Valley vs. Dowling Catholic at Drake Stadium for the all-important annual bragging rights of West Des Moines. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. next Friday in the state’s standout regular season game.