Keys to the Game: City vs Dowling


Lauren Koch

Joey Bouska ’22 scores a touchdown during City vs. Dowling 2021.

Jack Degner, Thomas Ksobiech, and Lauren Koch

Game Info:

7:30 p.m. Kick-Off at Valley Stadium

Buy Tickets Online Here $6

In last year’s matchup at Bates Field, City High came away with a narrow victory, 21-17. City High scored a last-minute touchdown on a reverse play that left Ben Kueter open in the endzone. Starting off the season with a loss, both City High and Dowling have bounced back to a 2-1 record. Eager to earn their third win of the season, the teams look ahead to the highly anticipated matchup at Valley’s stadium. City High’s average margin of victory against Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Ames was 56.5 points, staggering over Dowling’s 16.5 average over the last two games. 


  1. Minimizing each quarterback’s effectiveness

Dowling’s defense will have their hands full containing City High’s quarterback, junior Drew Larson. Akili Mattox and Ronnie Major, both top 15 in the state for receiving yards, have proven to be great targets for the junior quarterback. Dowling’s quarterback, future Penn State commit, Jaxon Smolik will threaten City’s chances at victory. Larson and Smolik are both in the top 5 for passing yards in class 5A. Larson is currently sitting at 3rd, and Smolik at 5th. Tough defense will be crucial to both team’s success in stopping the quarterbacks this Friday.

      2. Establishing the run game early

Run plays have been a large asset to City High’s offensive success. Senior Ronnie Major is averaging 11.7 yards per carry and already has 5 rushing touchdowns. He leads the team with 7 all-purpose touchdowns. With 3 rushing touchdowns in last week’s matchup against Ames, Major will look to continue his rushing dominance this Friday against Dowling.

       3. For Dowling: Stopping Ben Kueter from taking over

Ben Kueter, a 4-star linebacker, is currently tied for first in the state for tackles with 31.5. Kueter’s aggressive defense tactics will threaten the production of Dowling’s quarterback. Ben has established himself as one of the leading rushers with 9.5 tfls (tackles for loss) and 3.5 sacks. In last year’s matchup, not only did Kueter have 8 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss, but he also had the game-winning touchdown during the final minutes. 

      4. For City: Taking advantage of Dowling’s lack of pressure

Dowling has been unable to get to the quarterback at a high rate this season. They have had one pass rusher who has found some success so far this season, Carson Hagan, who has gotten 2 sacks. However, those 2 sacks are the only sacks that the team has had all season. The Little Hawks might have some success looking for play action passes and the deep ball. The offensive and defensive lines will dictate the flow of the game.