22 August 2011
I've wanted to attend the Dowling-Valley football game for years now but had never made their until last weekend. ESPN and Rivals list this as the biggest rivalry in Iowa high school football, and it would be tough to argue. The game regularly pulls in 10,000 fans and it was played at Drake Stadium this year, which is practically my backyard! A friend, who is a Dowling grad, and I made plans to go and walked up to Jethro's for a pre-game sandwich. I figured it would be packed, but I did not expect a full on Valley Tiger tailgate to be going on in the patio area. We were lucky to slide into a couple spots at the bar after only a few minutes and got some delicious pulled pork sandwiches. Bellies full, we headed into the stadium for the game. Preseason rankings had defending state champ Dowling at #3 and Valley at #7, and it was indeed a tough, even match-up the whole way through. With the game tied at 21, Dowling fumbled away possession with about 5 minutes left on what could've been their game-winning drive. Instead Valley moved the ball right down the field and scored to go up 28-21. Dowling only had a minute on the clock and their offense sputtered. I was bummed to see Dowling lose. And I never like to see Valley win, but it was a good game. Valley's offensive line definitely had the upper hand. I wanted to see the Maroons get the ball to Darboh, their big-time college recruit, more, although he did have a VERY nice catch for a touchdown. (Notre Dame and Iowa are among his top choices.) Also, the marketing student in me thinks that they should definitely been selling merchandise at the game. Booster clubs, where are you at?!
- middleson at 11:33