Kies Shines on State's Biggest Stage With Two Long Touchdown Grabs


Jeff Yoder Photo /

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

CEDAR FALLS – Jayden Kies is a baseball player.

The Regina senior is pretty dang good on the diamond too.  

Kies hit better than .300 last summer and led Regina in stolen bases and runs while helping the Regals reach the state semifinals.

His best sport may be baseball but this fall Kies joined the Regina football team for one reason – to win a state title.

On Saturday Kies helped give Regina a shot at doing just that.

Kies hauled in touchdown passes of 88 and 77 yards in a 37-35 win over No. 3 Pella Christian as Regina returned to the state title game for the eighth straight season.

“I’m mainly a baseball guy so coming into this football season it was kind of different,” Kies said. “I’m just trying to help the team, that’s pretty much why I came out this year to help these boys win another one.”  

Playing football for the first time since eighth grade, Kies had eight receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns in his first 11 games this season.

The breakout game of Kies’ short football career came on Saturday on the state’s biggest stage.

He caught only two passes but made them count, tallying 165 yards receiving on the two touchdown grabs.

“He’s an incredibly athletic kid and we’ve been trying to find ways to get the ball to him and take some shots and going into the game I told him we were going to need two big plays out of him,” Regina coach Marv Cook said. “I told him not to get to excited after the first one and he locked in and made some huge plays for us.”

Kies gave Regina its first lead of the game at 21-14 when he hauled in a 77-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Michael Conlon with 3:57 left in the second quarter.

Kies drew one-on-one coverage on the outside and ran a go route, got behind the Pella Christian defender and outran everyone to the end zone.

“He’s ridiculously fast,” Conlon said of Kies. “He’s a good athlete and he’s one of the fastest baseball players in the state so we have to just let him use his legs to help us in football.”

Kies wasn’t done.

He gave Regina a 37-21 lead with an 88-yard touchdown catch from freshman Ashton Cook on a nearly identical play as his first score.

Kies again used his speed to beat a corner back and Cook lofted a perfect pass down the sideline on a third-and-ten play.

It was an impressive UNI-Dome debut for the West High transfer.

“To be honest I don’t get nervous, I didn’t get nervous at state baseball,” Kies said. “I try to stay calm and leave the emotion out of it.”

With his performance on Saturday Kies helped to extend his football career and move one win away from the reason he took up the sport – a state title.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Kies said of his two-touchdown game. “It probably will 10 years from now but right now I’m just trying to play the game how my coaches tell me to.”