URBANDALE — The Ames football team stepped on to the turf at Frerichs Field on Friday night knowing it would be the last time it would do so this season. It was an even more permanent situation for the Little Cyclones’ seniors.
“There was a lot of excitement going into it because it’s the last game, you want to leave it all on the field,” Jonah Strawhacker said, “but I know for me personally, there was a little bit of dread because I knew it was the last time coming out here with these guys.
“I just wanted to come out one last time and leave it out on the field.”
The Little Cyclones undoubtedly did just that, but they didn’t leave with a victory as Urbandale ran away with a 49-10 win.
Ames, which knew it had been eliminated from playoff contention ahead of the evening, finishes the season 3-6.
“Our season’s over so it’s a flush of emotions right now,” senior quarterback Cooper Downs said. “You can’t look on the past - you’ve just got to be glad it happened.”
A difficult night for Ames started with a thud as the J-Hawks (6-3) returned the opening kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into the contest.
It mostly got worse from there with Urbandale quarterback Ty Langenberg and running back Harrison Waylee both adding touchdowns to give the J-Hawks a commanding 21-0 lead before Downs connected with Nate Withers for a 23-yard score on 4th-and-long to put Ames on the board in the second quarter.
Urbandale, though, added three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the first half to take a 42-7 lead and all the separation they’d need to cruise to victory.
“Being our last game ever taking the field,” Strawhacker said, “It’s a pretty awful feeling.”
Ames, though, had plenty to feel better about this season.
The Little Cyclones ripped off a three-game winning streak after starting the season 0-4 to reinvigorate their year before losing to top-ranked West Des Moines Valley last week.
“I think it showed that we had heart,” Downs said. “Through the ups and downs, especially through the start of the season, there were a lot of downs, especially with this group, and we showed a lot of heart to finish out the season the way we did.”
The final win-loss ledger won’t be the story of the season for these Little Cyclones when they look back upon it.
“The brotherhood, the family atmosphere,” Downs said, “and loving every second with my friends.”
Said Strawhacker, “The bond I made with all these guys. It wasn’t what we expected, but I’ll take a lot of these memories to my grave.
“That’s what I’m going to appreciate.”