Wolves to face tough test of No. 1-ranked West Hancock in first round

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For the last six weeks the Wolves have been able to control the clock, and their own field position through their tough running tandem of Amos and Kyler Rasmussen.

On Friday night the Wolves will be tested by the team that is thought to be the best in the state by both the AP voters and the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s RPI ranking system.

Like the Wolves, the West Hankcock Eagles (9-0) are a team that likes to run the ball, early, often, and with tons of power. Like IKM-Manning the West Hancock team also features two different running backs that are more than capable of moving the yard markers.

Leading the way is Tate Hagen, the top rusher for the Eagles who has carried the ball 189 times for a total of 1,549 yards this season. That includes 23 trips across the goal line (he’s also added another touchdown off a 79-yard touchdown reception).

If that wasn’t enough to give a defensive coordinator a headache, the Eagles also feature another running back, Cole Kelly. In 86 rush attempts Kelly has gained 914 yards and 16 endzone trips.

The tandem running team of Hagen and Kelly is something that the Wolves are very familiar with.

IKM-Manning running backs Amos and Kyler Rasmussen don’t just share a last name, they also share an ability to move the ball with their feet. Kyler leads the team with 174 attempts that have accounted for 827 total yards. In that time he’s earned 13 touchdowns with a long coming from 10 yards out. Amos, on the other hand has used his speed in his 118 carry attempts. So far Amos has 717 yards rushing the ball this season with eight touchdowns, including a long run of 56 yards.

Amos has also caught six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams use the pass sparingly in their offense. The Eagles have completed 20 of their 29 pass attempts this year for a total of 451 yards and eight touchdowns. Their leading receiver is Josef Smith who has 10 catches for 193 yards and five touchdowns. Tanner Hagen has added eight catches for 153 yards and two scores.

The Wolves have completed 27 of 50 passes this season for a total of 437 yards. Quarterback Nolan Ramsey has thrown four touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Parker Behrens leads the Wolves in receptions with 11 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown. Luke Ramsey has two catches, both for touchdowns, with 41 yards.

In order for the Wolves to continue on their current six game winning streak they will need to hold onto the ball. West Hankock’s defense has been a tough one this year with nine interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and 15 total fumble recoveries on the season including one that was recovered for a touchdown.

Special teams for the Eagles has been strong too. Tate Hagen has recorded one kick off for a touchdown. Smith has taken two kickoffs back for a score.

Friday’s game will kickoff at 7 p.m. in Britt.

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