CHANUTE – 30+ years. That’s how long it’s been since an Iola High School varsity football team has defeated a Chanute High School varsity football team.
The Mustangs came close to snapping that streak in 2016 when Iola lost to the Blue Comets 15-12. Since then, it’s been lopsided in favor of Chanute. However, there is some optimism from 3rd year Iola head coach David Daugharthy that this is the year “the streak” is snapped.
“I feel like we have more athleticism now than any time since I have been here and I believe we have the playmakers to be able to step up when needed.”
1st year head coach Clete Frazell noted that this Mustang team will present more challenges than in years past against the Blue Comets.
“They have some good players. Their nose is a very good player with size and athleticism. They have some good skill guys and are solid up front”
The players to watch in this match up will be Chanute senior quarterback Ty Bowman and Iola’s nose guard Logan Brown.
“Bowman is the best throwing quarterback I have played against in my coaching career. He is smart with the football and he can put the ball exactly where it needs to be. Add to that, he is able to run the ball very effectively if teams do cover the routes. He is an extremely talented player, and we will have our hands full trying to defend him,” said Daugharthy.
Bowman will be tested against a much improved Iola defense. Junior Logan Brown for Iola is tied 2nd on the team in total tackles with 16. Sophomore Tyler Boeken also has 16 total tackles and junior Isaac Badder leads the team with 19. Brown has recorded 3 tackles for losses along with Badders 4.5. Badders has also 2 interceptions through 2 games early on in the 2019 season.
However, Iola’s defense has been prone to giving up points on the board with the instant-classic 54-48 loss to Parsons in 5 overtimes to open the 2019 season and 33-21 loss to Wellsville last week.
The Mustangs will come in a bit banged up as well, but they do have key pieces cleared to play.
“Offensively our starting quarterback Bradyn Cole broke his wrist in the Parsons game and starting guard Aidan Jones is out with a concussion as well as running back Holden Barker. Defensively we will be without cornerback Landon Carson due to a dislocated shoulder. All of these injuries, minus Barker, were sustained in the week 1 matchup. We are fortunate because we will be returning Karson Sigg this week after he had shoulder problems that kept him out of the lineup last week.”
For the Blue Comets, despite their narrow loss to a physical Pittsburg team, they will be close to full strength.
“We came out of the Pittsburg game healthy. Everyone is ready to go and no one is unavailable,” said Frazell.
The weather will be a factor in Friday night’s matchup. At publishing time, the weather is calling for a 40% chance of shows and thunderstorms in Chanute at kick-off time. With that in mind, the Blue Comets coach noted ball security will be critical for his team on Friday.
“We have to play hard, eliminate mistakes, and execute our individual jobs.”
For Iola, it’s about playing physical.
“We will win Friday if we are more physical upfront and communicate on defense,” said Daugharthy.
Iola fans can listen to the game on 1370AM KIOL or 99.3FM. Chanute fans can listen to the game on 93.1FM KFEX-FM or 95.3FM KINZ.