Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
It has been four years since City High had a 1,000-yard rusher.
Four years isn’t exactly a long drought for a mark that is fairly difficult to crack during a nine-game regular season.
However, for a program like City High that has long been known for its power running game and penchant for churning out 1,000-yard rushers and talented running backs four years seems like a long time.
The Little Hawks may just have a player capable of ending that streak in their backfield this season.
Five weeks into the season City High junior tailback Tonka Hickman sits at 514 yards on the season after rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns in a 46-17 loss to Muscatine on Friday.
“I feel very good about what Tonka brings to us,” City High coach Dan Sabers said. “I think he’s running very well right now.”
In his first varsity season Hickman has been a boost to the City High running game.
He has a pair of 100-yard games to his credit and is averaging better than five yards per carry.
The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Hickman is perhaps best banging away for tough yards between the tackles but showed his top-end speed in a 60-yard touchdown run in the first-quarter against Muscatine.
“I thought he ran well tonight an he’s done a nice job for us this season,” Sabers said. “He gets those tough yards but he’s got some speed too.”
Hickman is averaging 102 yards per game so far this season and continuing on that pace through the rest of the regular season would put Hickman 75 yards shy of the 1,000-yard barrier.
If Hickman reaches 1,000 yards rushing he would be the first Little Hawk to crack the mark since Xavier Washpun rushed for 1,798 yards in 2013.
Chasing 1,000: Past the midway point of the season several other area running backs are on pace to be within striking distance of the 1,000-yard mark.
Clear Creek Amana senior quarterback Andrew Rohret leads area rushers with 609 yards while West Branch junior Tanner Lukavsky has rushed for 560 yards.
Liberty High junior Kaleb Williams has rolled up 446 yards on the ground through five games.
There goes Gaudet: West High senior Jalen Gaudet continued to make his case as the state’s top receiver on Friday.
Gaudet posted his fourth 100-yard game this season with four receptions for 109 yards in a 20-14 win over Pleasant Valley.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Gaudet has games of 159, 124, 121 and 109 receiving yards and has caught 19 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Gaudet ranks 13th in the state and third in Class 4A with 544 receiving yards and his 28.6 yards per catch are tops in the state among players with more than 15 receptions.
Welcome back: The West High defense got a boost on Friday with the return of senior leader Cole Mabry.
Mabry missed two games with injury but made his presence felt in his first game back making a team-high 10.5 tackles in a 20-14 win over Pleasant Valley.
The senior linebacker also rushed for 19 yards in the win.
Offensive Performer of the week: Regina senior Bryce Barnett was off to a strong season as a pass catcher. On Friday Barnett excelled a pass thrower.
Barnett passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns and added a 4-yard touchdown run in a 28-0 win over East Marshall.
Making his first career start at quarterback after starting the season as a receiver, Barnett completed 22-of-30 passes and also rushed for X yards as Regina snapped a two-game losing skid.
Best of the rest: Clear Creek Amana senior quarterback Andrew Rohret accounted for better than 200 total yards and three touchdowns in a 37-7 win over Liberty High. Rohret rushed for 105 yards and a score and passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Solon senior running back Adam Bock ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns and caught a pass for 13 yards in a 49-6 win over Fort Madison.
Regina sophomore wide receiver Alec Wick caught nine passes for 143 yards and a touchdown in a 28-0 win over East Marshall.
Defensive performer of the week: Noah Aanestad came up with the play of the game for West High in a 20-14 win over Pleasant Valley, a game-sealing interception in the waning seconds.
That was just part of what the senior defensive back did in a big game on Friday.
Aanestad had seven tackles, including four solo stops and recovered a fumble in the West High win.
Best of the rest: Solon senior defensive lineman Hunter Brown had two sacks among his four tackles and also blocked a field goal in a 49-6 win at Fort Madison.
West High senior linebacker Owen McAreavy had 10 tackles, six solos, including three tackles for a loss and a sack in a 20-14 win over Pleasant Valley.
Liberty High sophomore linebacker Max Tafolla had a team-high 10.5 tackles including 3.5 for loss in a 37-7 loss to Clear Creek Amana.
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