The lights at Ames Stadium will shine extra bright tonight as some of the Little Cyclones’ finest return for the “Ames Hall of Fame Game.” Ames comes back in front of a home crowd winning three of their last four games. Last week the Little Cyclones dominated the Marshalltown Bobcats 48-14 in their last road game of the season. To continue their quest toward the postseason, Ames must take care of business tonight against the Sioux City East Black Raiders. Sioux City East sits at 4-3 riding a two-game winning streak. In those two victories, the Black Raiders have dominated winning both games by two or more touchdowns. Here are the three things you need to know ahead of the battle between Sioux City East and Ames with kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
1)-Ames’ must be prepared for an air raid offense
Ames has had a gauntlet of a schedule. Playing teams such as the Waukee Warriors, Ankeny Centennial, and Valley. However, Sioux City East may have the best young quarterback the Little Cyclones have seen yet. Cal Jespen is a sophomore putting up senior stats. Throwing for nearly 2,000 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only six interceptions so far this season. The Black Raiders pass offense is second to none with six receivers totaling over 100 yards receiving this season. Leading the way for Sioux City East is senior Richard Stewart with 729 yards receiving and a team-high six touchdowns. The Little Cyclones have struggled against teams that pass the ball well, against Valley they allowed over 250 yards through the air. If Ames wants a chance at the playoffs they must make the Black Raiders uncomfortable passing the ball.
2)-Who has the better rushing attack?
Winning the ground game has been a key for Ames all year long, and nothing changes for tonight’s game. The Little Cyclones offense has found its stride at the right time in part to naming Cameron Cantonwine as the starting quarterback. Last week against Marshalltown, Cantonwine had a historical performance rushing for six total touchdowns and a total of 152 yards. Having a duel athlete under center benefits Ames’ star running back Jamison Poe who rushed for over 100 yards for the first time this season against the Bobcats.
The headache does not end for the Little Cyclones if they can stop the Black Raiders’ passing game. Sioux City East has a strong running back of their own. Myles Wegher has the tools to carry this offense to victory. The junior leads the team with six rushing touchdowns and 420 yards while carving up defensive lines averaging almost five yards a carry.
3)-Take Advantage of the young defense
Sioux City East might have one of the younger defenses in the state. The Black Raiders’ top three defenders in terms of tackling are two freshmen and one sophomore. Kason Clayborne (Fr.) leads Sioux City East this season with 37.5 total tackles with 27 solo. This is a promising defense that is going through growing pains. Even in their last three victories, they allowed offenses to average 210 rushing yards a game. Benefiting the Little Cyclones.
Tune into 1430 KASI and your free iHeart Radio app with the Ames High Tailgate Show with Mel Crippen starting at 6 p.m. and then Justin Miller and Bruce Vertanen will get you set with kickoff at 7 p.m.