Three Things You Should Know About Tonight's Game Ankeny Centennial v Ames

Photo: Dorwart, Mike (uploader)

The 2023 season opener did not go as planned for the Ames Little Cyclones losing on the road to the Waukee Warriors 35-7. Tonight, Ames will look for their first win of the season at home against Jerry and Ryan Pezzetti’s Ankeny Centennial Jaguars who are also searching for their first win. Jaguars lost a double-overtime thriller against rivals the Ankeny Hawks 39-38 last Friday.  Here we will break down the three big things you should know before kickoff tonight at 7 p.m. on 1430 KASI.


Fans will pack the stands and get their first look at this Little Cyclone squad. A team that has found recent success under third-year head coach Brian Sauser (10-10 at Ames). Sauser led Ames to the round of 16 for the first time since 2014 last season with a 6-4 record which included a 3-2 record at home. After chatting with coach Sauser early this week he spoke on the importance of getting off to a quick start.  “I think it is critical. When teams get down 14-0 or 21-0 they have to change their game plan,” Sauser said. A loud and proud Ames Stadium could prove vital if they wish to exit week 2 with a victory.


Last season, Ames was a team known for its pass-heavy offense behind quarterback Dallas Sauser, who led the state in completions and tallied 28 touchdowns. With Sauser graduated the Little Cyclones have turned to their junior running back Jamison Poe. Defenses will be glued onto Poe who finished last season with 870 of the team’s 1,113 total rushing yards including 13 rushing and five receiving touchdowns. Look for Poe to have a bounce-back game after Waukee did a good job of holding him in check with 89 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards.

The Ames defense will have their hands full as well with the Jaguars having a star running back of their own in senior Elijah Porter. Porter will cause headaches for defenses all season long, much like he did in 2022 where he rushed for 766 yards and 10 touchdowns. Against the Hawks, Porter rushed for 187 yards and a touchdown. “Everything they did with him last week was sideline to sideline,” Sauser said. “We need to be strong on the edges and force him towards the middle.”


Against Waukee, Bruce Vertanen mentioned during the broadcast how Ames was starting with their backs against the wall. Beginning drives on their own 15-yard line, while the Warriors were typically starting in plus territory.  This helped give Waukee a 28-7 halftime lead and will be something the Little Cyclones will be cautious about in protecting their home field.

Make sure you tune into Bruce Vertanen and I tonight with pregame starting at 6:45 p.m. on 1430 KASI and your free iHeart Radio app.  

Photo: Dorwart, Mike (uploader)

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