Cobras rise up in postseason opener

Sigourney-Keota’s Zach Smithart (75) hoists Cade Molyneux (10) after a touchdown during high school football action against 2A playoff qualifier Centerville on Sept. 10 at Paul Johnson Field in Centerville.

OTTUMWA — 

Cade Molyneux, Colten Clarahan and Zach Smithart were among eight members of the Sigourney-Keota football team to earn all-state honors from the Iowa Print Sportswriters Association on Monday.

Molyneux, Clarahan and Smithart all were named first-team all-state in Class 1A by the IPSWA. Players from four different schools earned all-state honors including Cardinal senior Griffin Greiner, who earned first-team honors in 1A as a wide receiver.

Greiner and Comet senior quarterback Maddux Jones also earned first-team all-district honors after connecting for 722 yards on 39 completions, the best pass-catching combination in Class 1A, District 6. Greiner caught 11 touchdown passes for Cardinal, tying South Hardin junior Ryan Walters for the second-most scoring receptions in 1A this season, helping spark a second straight winning 5-4 season for the Comets and a second straight postseason appearance.

Greiner was named the district's top defensive player after collecting a team-leading 89 tackles, including 67 solo stops, earning first-team all-district honors as a returner. Joining Greiner and Jones as first-team all-district selections from Cardinal included unanimous selections Blaine Bryant at wide receiver and Landon Becker at defensive back.

Molyneux earned first-team all-state honors at running back while being named the offensive MVP in Class 1A, District 6 after leading S-K's rushing attack during a second straight 10-1 season that ended with a trip to the Class 1A state quarterfinals. The Cobra senior finished as 1A's top rusher, finishing with 1,990 yards gained on the ground on a 1A-leading 294 carries, scoring 23 rushing touchdowns to finish third in 1A.

Clarahan's versatility showed up in the numerous postseason accolades for the S-K senior, earning his place on the IPSWA Class 1A first-team all-state team as a kicker after making six of nine field goal attempts with a 52-yard make at the end of the first half of an 18-7 Class 1A second-round playoff win over Columbus Catholic while also securing first-team all-district honors as a running back after rushing for 710 yards on 95 carries and four touchdowns for the Cobras. 

Smithart was one of six lineman named first-team in Class 1A. The S-K junior helped open doors for the Cobras, who racked up 3,489 total rushing yards, the fourth-most in the entire state and the most of any 1A team.

Smithart earned first-team all-state honors as an offensive lineman for the second straight year, also earning unanimous first-team all-district honors up front for the Cobras pacing a rushing attack that finished second in Class 1A with 3,402 total yards gained. Aiden Schuster joined Smithart as a unanimous all-district first-team offensive lineman for S-K while being named to the IPSWA all-state second team along with senior defensive lineman Cade Streigle, the district's gold award winning, and senior returning Levi Crawford.

Crawford (defensive back), senior Jack Clarahan (linebacker) and sophomore Evan Vittetoe (defensive line) were unanimous first-team all-district defensive selections for the Cobras with Clarahan earning third-team 1A all-state honors at linebacker. Conner Reed joined Clarahan on the IPSWA 1A all-state third-team, representing the Cobras on the offensive line while earning first-team all-district honors for his play on the defensive line.

Cole Kindred, Cole Clarahan, Jackson Droz, Conner Strand, Clay Morse and Ethan Shifflett earned second-team all-district honors for Sigourney-Keota while Isaac Cox, Logan Walters, Ian Liles and Alec Rachford were second-team all-district selections from Cardinal. Van Buren County teammates Brant Tedrow, Anthony Duncan and Nathan Davidson also earned second-team all-district honors for the Warriors.

Albia teammates Jackson Pence and Wyatt Beckwith earned IPSWA All-State honors with Pence being named to the second-team all-state offensive line while Beckwith earned all-state third-team honors as a returner. Fairfield junior Max Weaton returned to the IPSWA all-state third team for the second straight year, moving from his selection as a tight end as a sophomore to an offensive lineman selection this season for the 5-4 Trojans.

Ottumwa had four first-team all-district selections with sophomore offensive lineman John Hardin joining junior teammates Abaya Selema (running back), Cooper Derby (linebacker) and Ryan McKinnon (defensive back) in Class 5A among the CIML Metro conference schools. Bulldog linebackers Mikey Cain and Cameron Manary joined quarterback Tanner Schark and offensive lineman Lane Spurgeon on the all-district second team.

Several area players earned all-district honors in Class 2A, District 7. Davis County wide receivers Tayden Bish and Caedyn Glosser joining quarterback Carson Maeder, offensive lineman Trey Armstrong and running back Gavin McCall on the all-district first team offense while Dawson Townsend (defensive back), Hoyt Dzwoniarski (linebacker) and Hayden Boas (defensive line) earning first-team all-district defensive honors.

Centerville teammates Kade Mosley (wide receiver), Owen Byl (offensive line) and Brody Tuttle (linebacker) earned first-team all-district honors for the Big Reds. Blake Jager (defense) and Jesse Cornelison (offense) were both utility all-district selections from Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont.

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