When Dowling Catholic’s football team needs to win, it does just that.
You’d better be ready. You know it’s coming.
And if you’re a Valley fan, you’ve got to be wondering how it could have gone so wrong.
In a battle of two powerhouse high school football teams from West Des Moines, Dowling did everything right in a 31-9 victory over previously-unbeaten Valley in a state class 4A quarterfinal round game tonight at Valley Stadium.
So it’s on to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls next week for a Dowling team that’s going after it’s sixth consecutive 4A state championship.
Don’t bet against coach Tom Wilson and his talented Maroons.
Valley defeated Dowling, 20-6, in the second game of the season.
Then the Maroons lost yet another game to Ankeny Centennial.
Meanwhile, Valley sailed to a 10-0 record, and looked like it could do no wrong.
Not so fast, my friend.
The Tigers weren’t prepared either physically or emotionally in the second go-around with Dowling.
If Valley’s fans were embarrassed, they had reason to be.
And it was over early. All Valley had to show for this disappointing setback were three field goals.
While the Tigers were kept out of the end zone by an aroused Dowling defense, Jayson Murray was running for three Maroon touchdowns.
The Tigers were whipped at the line of scrimmage, their offense was consistently a step slow against Dowling’s defense and quarterback Beau Lombardi [the younger brother of Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi] wasn’t helped one bit by play-calling from longtime Valley coach Gary Swenson and his staff.
Valley took a solid whipping in the biggest game of the season in its own stadium.
The Tigers should’ve been the team playing with confidence.
With a 17-6 halftime lead, Dowling had all the momentum.
The Maroons extended their lead to 24-6 with an 80-yard drive in the third quarter.
After that, it was just a matter of time before Dowling could start filling up the gas tank of the bus for another trip to the UNI-Dome.
For Valley, it was wait until next year.