We are 3 weeks into the high school football season, and that means a third of the games are in the books. For the Prairie Hawks, sitting at a respectable 2-1 record, the potential for a special season hangs in the air.
The Hawks lost their starting quarterback, running back, and lead playmaker last season. Luckily, the 2017 class has some athletes of their own. Taking Trevor Northrup’s place at running back is Zach Ganske, while Joe Meyer moved from split end to wing back, sharing the bulk of the carries. Attempting to replace Jalen Rima at wide receiver is the duo of sophomore Levi Usher and senior Preston LaGrange.
The expectations for Prairie were low all around the metro area, except in their own locker room.
“When people think of our team they think average. Let me tell you, this team is not average,” head coach Mark Bliss told his team after an exciting victory over Clinton last Friday. The Hawks have been working all offseason, knowing they had big shoes to fill. They also heard many people dismiss this season as over before it began, but they knew better.
When starting middle linebacker and team captain Cameron LaGrange was asked how he responded to the doubters, he said, “Anybody who thought we were only going to win a couple games this year doesn’t know football. We have the team to do something special here.”
The Hawks started the season against 3rd ranked Cedar Rapids Washington, who has dominated the Hawks in years past. The Hawks fought hard, but lost the game 27-14. They faced Jefferson in week 2, and blew the J-hawks away 38-14. Their first road game was against the Clinton River Kings, another sizeable opponent, who the Hawks beat on a 4th quarter trick play. In an offensive shootout, the Hawks came away with their second victory in as many games, 46-42.
In week 4 the Hawks face the toughest of the Davenport teams, Davenport Central. Held to a short week, the 2 teams will face off Thursday, at Brady Street Stadium. This is the last non-district game of the year. In week 5 the Hawks will face possibly their toughest opponent of the season, Iowa City West, for homecoming.
The game against the Trojans will be a tough test for a team that’s fighting to be in the top 2 of the district, and make the playoffs once again. Only this year, they plan to go farther than they’ve ever gone before.