Dodgers meet DM North for Homecoming

The Fort Dodge football team will try to make it two in a row at Dodger Stadium this evening when they welcome Des Moines North for Homecoming.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Two weeks ago, the Dodgers (2-3 overall, 0-1 in Class 4A, Division 2) defeated Mason City, 24-21. The win was the first at home by FDSH since 2010, snapping a 10-game losing streak.

“A lot of coaches feel like all the homecoming events are a distraction,” Dodger head coach Matt Miller said. “It’s part of high school football. I want the kids to enjoy it and they should enjoy it; it’s a great time.

“But, you still have to keep focus on what you are trying to do as a football team and I think we’ve done that this week.”

Senior Andrew Stover and sophomore Sam Cook have provided the offense, as Stover continues his climb up the school’s passing charts.

Through five games, Stover has completed 63 of 137 for 765 yards and nine touchdowns, throwing just two interceptions. Cook, meanwhile, has ran for 721 yards, averaging almost six per carry.

Cook has ran for at least 100 yards in all but one game this season, including 207-yard performance vs. the Mohawks.

“Sam’s running ability has really taken a lot of pressure off Andrew and opened up our offense for more playaction and rollouts for him,” Miller said. “They really compliment each other well.”

The Dodger defense is led by underclassmen Austin Halligan and Kole Kampen. Halligan has racked up 37 tackles, while Kampen is right behind at 36.

Kampen also has three interceptions, while Halligan and Cory Alexander have each recovered two fumbles. Riley Prescott and Zach Lowery each have three sacks.

“We have to do the fundamental things right: tackle, line up right,” Miller said. “When we have success, we tackle; when we don’t, we don’t tackle well.”

North (0-5, 0-1) has scored just 45 points on the year. This marks the first time they have played outside of Des Moines through five games.

Senior Kajuan Davenport has completed 33-percent of his passes for 221 yards, while Shymere Williams leads the team with 169 yards rushing.

Davenport has also ran for 137 yards and has two touchdowns on the year, as does Williams.

The Polar Bears were shutout by Sioux City North last Friday in their division opener, 43-0. They had just 43 yards of total offense in the game and surrendered over 400, including 220 through the air.

“North has enough athletes that they can hurt you,” Miller said. “They’ve gotten better each week and we have to be careful to keep them from breaking anything big.

“Again, we need to be fundamentally smart.”

Miller said senior Marquan Clayton will return and “give it a go.” He has been nursing a knee injury.

Game notes: Stover is currently second on the FDSH all-time passing charts with 2,762 yards. … He is also second with 23 passing touchdowns, trailing Randy Reiners in both categories. … Fort Dodge has forced 10 turnovers, including five interceptions and five fumbles. … North has caused six turnovers on the year. … The Polar Bears have lost 11 straight games, last winning Sept. 7, 2012 vs. Des Moines Hoover, 22-21.