CN Breakdown: Austen Arnaud

Last Friday September 9th, the future was written for Cyclones to defeat the Hawks. In this game it was the Little Cyclones from Ames High that held on to a thrilling victory in double overtime over the Ankeny Hawks 31-30.

Austen Arnaud performed well in a playoff atmosphere game at Ankeny High School giving a glimpse of what's to come for fans of the Iowa State Cyclones. I had the privilege to see an outstanding comeback by the Ames Little Cyclones who looked like they were out of the game after three quarters against a very good ground game from the Ankeny Hawks.


In double overtime it was the arm of Arnaud who propelled Ames in scoring on their first play with a 10-yd strike to his tight end Ben Cotton. With the extra point good, Ames led 31-24. Not to give up, Ankeny scored on its second play with QB Aaron Jarosh's two yard keeper to pull within one. Ames was called for offsides on the extra point which moved the ball to the ½ yard mark and head coach Jerry Pezzetti decided to go for two to win and Jarosh was stuffed for the Little Cyclone victory.


Austen Arnaud scored on Ames's first possession of the game with a beautiful end around from fourteen yards out going in untouched. He also added a four yard plunge up the middle pulling Ames even with a little over two minutes left in the contest. Arnaud was under a lot of pressure during the game and was sacked four times under great defensive line play by the Hawks in the first half and third quarter. But when the game was on the line, he played with poise and showed confidence driving for the tying score. He would finish the game rushing for 55 yards on 10 carries and passing for 124 yards hitting 12-out-of-24 with one interception. Arnaud did pass the ball better than the stats showed as there were four or five dropped balls.


Ames's running back is Nathan Greving who also was impressive running very hard and showing good hands as he is used as a weapon on swing passes out of the backfield. He finished rushing for 67 yards on fifteen carries and catching six passes for 68 yards. Austen showed he has a great touch of the ball when delivering passes to his running back. Also impressive was his ability to take on tacklers as there were many times he was hit hard but knocked over the tackler on his way to gain more yards. When Arnaud gets into the secondary, it will take a couple defensive backs to bring him down.


Ankeny also had an Iowa State recruit in offensive lineman Matt Hulbert. He truly stands out amongst the high school football players as he is a legit 6-foot-7 and weighing close to 300l pounds. Ankeny's offensive used a lot of miss direction plays and didn't run the ball as much as I thought they would to Matt's side. Ankeny only threw the ball six times so hard to tell what his pass blocking skills are at left tackle but he is very hard to get around being so big. Time will tell if he could be someone who could step in right away like Aaron Brant but he has the height to play that position.


I had the opportunity to check out a couple other players from Cedar Rapids last Thursday night when Kennedy played Prairie. CR Kennedy's linebacker/fullback Luke Dolan was very impressive with his play from both sides of the ball. He seems to fit right in at the fullback spot and is built very solid. He is listed at 6-foot 200 pounds and had rushed for over 60 yards in the game. He was used mostly at linebacker and showed his quickness in not only getting into the backfield but also being able to cover running backs out of the backfield for passing plays. Watch out for speedy running back Cordale Baker who is lightning fast but only 5-foot-8 150 pounds.


For Cedar Rapids Prairie I was impressed with Jamie Klith, brother of TJ who had at one time been a part of the Cyclones team. Jamie showed great stamina and toughness as he plays both sides of the ball but is a very tough running back with good size at 6-foo 180 pounds. He is also Prairie's punter and had let go of 6 punts for a 43.3 yard average that night. That is very good for high school especially when he was getting pounded running the ball and how he can step back and let one go.


Prairie also had an impressive wide out, Colin Deitrick who at 6-foot-3 made a fantastic catch for the first touchdown of the game, a 32 yard catch at the back of the end zone getting his feet down while making the catch over his shoulder. He also played safety but looks much better at wide out. He caught a touchdown pass in the overtime for Prairie making both scores in their 14-13 loss to Kennedy. For those in Cedar Rapids, keep your eyes and ears out for these players as they could be offered scholarships late or use the great walk-on program at Iowa State.


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