Tonight is Week One of the high school football season in Iowa. All of Marion County’s teams are up.
- Knoxville: Coming off a 3-6 2018 outing, the Panthers return with stalwarts Carter Bailey, Keegan Cox, Ben Olson and Mike Hudson. Coach Eric Kellar says Kieren Nichols will be the Knoxville starting quarterback tonight for the varsity squad when they take on Fairfield at home in Ken Locke Stadium. Fairfield won last year’s game, 28-6.
- Melcher-Dallas: The Saints went 4-5 last season under Head Coach Bart Elliott, who has moved on. The team is coming in with another new coach this year, Pat Ferguson. Last season’s opener saw the Saints fall to Seymour by 40 points. Returning for Melcher-Dallas to get the win back at home are Steve Krpan, Ryan Krpan, Evan Putz, Lance Clark and more.
- Pella: Head Coach Jay McKinstrey says Aaron Downs and Ryan Mace will each take snaps at quarterback, with Downs being the starter as the Dutch host fellow powerhouse, Dalls Center-Grimes to open the season tonight. The Dutch went 8-2 last season, with a one-point heartbreaker during the season at Oskaloosa and a 14-6 playoff loss to state rival Cedar Rapids-Xavier in the playoffs. Last season, the Dutch handled DCG easily, 28-0.
- Pella Christian: After a tough 34-21 loss in the UNI-Dome to Dike-New Hartford, the Eagles finished at 8-4 in 2018. Dan Jungling threw for nearly 1,600 yards last season and will be the Eagles’ starter again tonight when they travel to Oskaloosa. The Eagles came out on top in the contest last season, 51-33. Helping out Jungling will be returners Max Wichhart, Ty Hugen and many more.
- Pleasantville: Caylor Clark will be behind center as the starting quarterback for the Trojans tonight when they travel to take on Lynnville-Sully. They had a tough season last year, going 3-6 under new coach Mack Jorth. Jorth is back and his team has much more comfort and confidence this season as they look to take on the Hawks. The squad has most of its key players back – including Cael Berglund, Hunter Oliva, Tegan Douma, Matthew Kaufman and more.
- Twin Cedars: The Sabers are “a little banged up” after the Week Zero contest against English Valleys, according to Head Coach Cam Parker. Tonight, Twin Cedars travels to Moravia, one of the toughest teams eight-player teams in the area. The Sabers look to avenge last season’s loss to the Mowhawks. Brayden DenBurger, Kade Dunkin, Levi Messamaker and the rest kick off at 7 to improve on last season’s 4-6 record.