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The Mount Ayr Raider football team takes the field this Friday night against the Nodaway Valley Wolverines for the Battle for the Rock. The contest was first held in 2012 and has been in the hands of the Raiders since. Mount Ayr holds an 8-0 record along with a combined score of 320-46.
The Wolverines recently defeated Central Decatur last Friday night by a score of 32-24, snapping an 11 game losing streak under the direction of new head coach Flynn Heald.
The Wolverines are coming off an 0-9 season, while the Raiders come off a 7-3 season a year ago.
In their contest a year ago, Mount Ayr defeated Nodaway Valley 36-0. This will be the 57th time the Raiders have faced a team from Nodaway Valley/Greenfield. Mount Ayr has an all-time record of 29-24-3.
The Raiders recently scrimmaged with the Southwest Valley Timberwolves in which each team executed approximately 30 plays.
Mount Ayr looked to the air more than in previous years, completing some nice passes from the arm of returning quarterback Payton Weehler.
Weehler looked more confident in the pocket, and didn’t have any problems rolling out to either side.
The Raider runningback corp also saw plenty of touches. Reas Knapp broke away on a couple of runs along with Keelan Klommhaus.
Isaac Grose and Dawson Frost return at the wideout position and were able to show the crowd in attendance their vertical abilities with a couple of jump balls in their favor.
Friday nights on the gridiron begin this Friday night in Mount Ayr in what looks to be a true Battle for the Rock as a seemingly improved Wolverine team comes to Mount Ayr, looking to hold the Rock trophy in the air for the first time, while Mount Ayr looks to hold onto the trophy once again.
The “Rock” trophy commemorates longtime coaches for Mount Ayr and Greenfield/Nodaway Valley Dave Still and Bob Daut, respectively.
“Bob and Dave were rock-solid men and coaches who stood the test of time,” said Mount Ayr coach Delwyn Showalter. “They were the bedrock of their school and community and they helped young people build a solid foundation for their life. We thought that the rock really represents the type of character they had and the type of men that they are.”
Greenfield artist Bubba Sorensen, creator of the Freedom Rock as well as the Peggy Whitson memorial rock in Mount Ayr, has designed and painted the trophy each year.