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If you want to know: Is it easy to roll right and sling a fastball pass like that in a perfect placement? No. No. Not at all. This is just one of the reasons Iowa State, Iowa and Florida State have already offered Ankeny quarterback J.J. Kohl, our No. 3 in-state 2023 prospect and an Iowa Eight member.
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What a Friday night of football, huh?
First of all, we had No. 3 Ankeny beat No. 1 Southeast Polk, 21-7, in what is probably the best win of the year across all seven classes. Then, No. 5 Iowa City High proved it is a legitimate state title threat with a 21-17 win over No. 6 Dowling Catholic. Back in central Iowa, No. 7 Urbandale handled No. 9 Des Moines Roosevelt, 30-0, and Indianola outlasted Lewis Central, 14-9, in a Class 4A top-five battle.
And those are just a handful of the games involving central Iowa teams.
There were incredible games and eye-popping performances all across the state.
As you wait until college football kicks off Saturday, here's a look at some of the standout performances from Week 4 of Iowa high school football.
Kohl, the Register's No. 3 in-state 2023 prospect and a member of the 2021 Iowa Eight, entered the season with plenty of hype, but his first two weeks were lackluster.
That was far from the case in Week 3.
The 6-foot-6 cannon-armed quarterback completed 13 of 15 passes for 144 yards and four touchdowns, masterfully leading the No. 6 Hawks offense in a 27-13 victory over No. 2 Dowling Catholic.
And Kohl had a favorite target in the game: Brady McCullough.
The big, 6-4 target is the Register's No. 18 in-state 2022 prospect, and he showed why on Friday. The FCS target receiving interest from Iowa and Iowa State hauled in eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback JJ Kohl and receiver Brady McCullough put on a show in Ankeny's 27-13 win over Dowling in Week 3. The duo connected for three touchdowns.
1. Southeast Polk (2-0) beat No. 8 West Des Moines Valley, 40-21
2. Dowling Catholic (1-1) beat Waukee Northwest, 17-10
3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (2-0) beat Bettendorf, 28-7
4. Cedar Rapids Prairie (2-0) beat Dubuque Senior, 28-14
5. Urbandale (2-0) beat No. 9 Johnston, 17-7
6. Ankeny (1-1) lost to Ankeny Centennial, 14-7
7. Iowa City High (2-0) beat Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 68-0
8. West Des Moines Valley (1-1) lost to No. 1 Southeast Polk, 40-21
9. Johnston (1-1) lost to No. 5 Urbandale, 17-7
10. Des Moines Roosevelt (2-0) beat Waukee, 19-3
1. Southeast Polk
3. West Des Moines Dowling
4 Tie - Cedar Falls and Pleasant Valley
6. West Fes Moines Valley
7. Cedar Rapids Prairie
8. Cedar Rapids Kennedy
10. Ankeny Centennial
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Date: Sept. 10
Skinny: The matchup of the season in 2020, Dowling gets its first chance at Ankeny revenge here in 2021. The Maroons rarely play with past defeat as motivation, but there should be plenty here after the Hawks halted Dowling's incredible championship run in last year's semifinals. Whichever squad wins, though, may have to beat the other again in the playoffs.
Date: Sept. 17
Skinny: A replay of last season's 4A title game, you know Southeast Polk has been thinking about that 42-14 shellacking all offseason. The Rams, which begin the year atop the 5A poll, will need to be much sharper for a win this time around, but the talent is there to certainly do so. Another potential UNI-Dome preview.
1. Southeast Polk
2. Dowling Catholic
4. Cedar Falls
5. West Des Moines Valley
6. Pleasant Valley
7. Cedar Rapids Kennedy
9. Dubuque Senior
10. Iowa City West
Last Season: 11-1, won Class 4A state championship
Why they're in the Super 10: The Hawks lost many key playmakers from last year's state title-winning squad, but the cupboard isn't bare. Fast-rising J.J. Kohl will take the reins at quarterback. Speedy running back Colin Kadolph scored 15 touchdowns last year. Brady McCullough is a threat in the receiving game. Ryan Crandall and Braden Simonsen will highlight a fast-and-vicious defense. Ankeny isn't going anywhere.
The Class 5A football title is Southeast Polk's to lose.
Yes, Ankeny is the defending champion. Yes, Dowling Catholic is Dowling Catholic. Yes, the eastern side of the state always puts forth a quality contender, whether it's Cedar Falls or Iowa City West or Bettendorf or Pleasant Valley or someone else.
But when a team reaches the state title game and then brings back a huge chunk of its main contributors, including a three-star Division I quarterback, a four-star safety with Ohio State, Notre Dame and Texas A&M in hot pursuit, and a five-star offensive lineman with basically everyone in the country recruiting him, that team will enter the season with lofty expectations.
The most logical competition is Ankeny, which beat the Rams 42-14 in the 2020 title game. Although the Hawks lost major offensive pieces in quarterback Jase Bauer, receiver Brody Brecht and athlete Arland Bruce IV, they return running back Colin Kadolph, receiver Brady McCullough and a bevy of defensive standouts, including safety Ryan Crandall, defensive end Braden Simonsen and linebackers Tamden Webb-Tate and Jackson Penningroth. Transfer quarterback J.J. Kohl is also a highly regarded 2023 prospect, although he's relatively unproven at the high school level so far.
There's so much quarterback talent in the state right now.
Among junior signal-callers, alone, there's: Ankeny's Kohl, who holds offers from Iowa State, Iowa and Florida State; Des Moines Roosevelt's Jamison Patton, who has an Iowa State offer at safety; Marion's Alex Mota, who holds offers as an athlete from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Wisconsin and Nebraska; and Lewis Central's Braylon Kammrad, West Sioux's Dylan Wiggins, Dowling's Jaxon Smolik and Central Lyon/George-Little Rock's Zach Lutmer, who all have legitimate Division I interest.
7. Which senior will give the biggest final boost to their recruiting stock?
Whether they're trying to collect their first offer or trying to jump up to the Power 5 level, uncommitted seniors still have plenty to prove and earn in their final seasons. It hasn't been uncommon at all for the Hawkeyes, in particular, to plug a last-minute hole with an in-state talent they've kept an eye on right before December's early signing day.
Continuing the Iowa storyline ... the Hawkeyes love tight ends, and Ankeny's Brady McCullough and Muscatine's Nolan Recker are two prospects worth watching.
McCullough, who checks in at about 6-5 and 210 pounds, holds offers from South Dakota State, North Dakota and Northern Iowa. Recker, who's 6-4 and 230 pounds, has offers from Northern Iowa and St. Thomas. He's also a high-academic student, so he has an MIT offer plus interest from Harvard and Cornell.