Iowa High School Football, 2021 State Championships Recap
Recaps of the seven state championships games from the 2021 Iowa high school football season.
Cody Goodwin, Wochit
The Des Moines Register is proud to announce its 2021 All-Iowa football teams, honoring the best players from the 2021 season in all seven classes — Class 5A through 8-player.
The Elite Team features the very best players from all classes this past season, and six of the seven classes are represented. The top players from each class were also honored on first teams, as well as a list of honorable mention selections.
The teams were picked based on in-season production, Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen staff observations and consultations with more than 250 Iowa high school coaches. All stats listed were supplied by Varsity Bound.
Members of the Elite Team are nominees for the offensive and defensive player of the year awards. The winners will be announced at the Iowa High School Sports Awards in the spring. More details about the program are coming soon.
Quarterback | Southeast Polk | Senior
Threw for 1,865 yards and 20 touchdowns, and also ran for 257 yards and four more touchdowns, and led the Rams to a 12-1 record and the Class 5A state championship, the first in school history.
Running back | Ankeny | Senior
Led 5A with 28 total touchdowns and 2,220 all-purpose yards, and also rushed for 1,801 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead an Ankeny team that went 10-3 and reached the 5A state title game.
Running back | Burlington | Senior
Finished with 2,226 yards and 28 touchdowns in just 10 games, which averages out to 222.6 yards and almost three touchdowns per game at a rate of 10.2 yards per carry, the most among all players on 11-player teams with 200-plus carries.
Wide receiver/tight end | Ankeny | Senior
Led 5A with 935 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions, on 55 total receptions. Averaged 17 yards per catch. Had four games with at least 100 yard receiving and three multi-touchdown games.
Wide receiver/tight end | Valley | Senior
Finished with 53 receptions for 627 yards and 10 touchdowns. Top pass-catching option for a Valley team that averaged 33.8 points per game, the fifth-most in 5A.
Utility | Southeast Valley | Senior
Amassed 4,057 total yards of offense — 2,484 passing, 1,573 rushing — and 47 total touchdowns. Averaged 19.9 yards per completion and 6.1 yards per carry. Led Southeast Valley to a 12-1 record and the Class 2A state championship, the first in school history.
Offensive line | Southeast Polk | Senior
Anchored an offensive line that blocked for a unit that averaged 32.6 points and 334.3 yards per game. The Rams went 12-1 and won the 5A state championship.
Offensive line | East Buchanan | Sophomore
The state’s next premier blocking talent. Blocked for an offense that ranked in the top 10 in scoring and top five in total offense in Class A. Also a productive, disruptive defensive lineman for an East Buchanan team that went 10-2 and reached the state semifinals.
Offensive line | Pleasant Valley | Senior
Experienced, cerebral offensive lineman that anchored a line that blocked for 5A’s best rushing offense this season. Behind Kilstrom, the Spartans rushed for 3,512 yards — more than 600 yards better than second-best Cedar Rapids Prairie — at an average of 7 yards per carry.
Offensive line | Ballard | Senior
Krogh’s offensive line skills shined even during Ballard’s 5-5 season, as the Bombers were a top-10 rushing offense in Class 3A and only gave up 10 sacks in as many games against the seventh-toughest schedule in 3A.
Offensive line | Southeast Polk | Junior
Two-time Elite selection. Five-star prospect who cemented his spot as the state’s best pound-for-pound lineman this season. Blocked for an offense that ranked in the top five in rushing, scoring and total offense, and top 10 in passing in 5A.
Defensive line | Lewis Central | Senior
Dominant two-way lineman for the Class 4A state championship team. Finished with 42.5 total tackles, including 34 solo stops, and 16 tackles for loss, for a defense that allowed just 17.7 points per game, the 10th-fewest in 4A.
Defensive line | Southeast Valley | Senior
Two-time Elite selection. Finished with 63 total tackles, 43 solo stops, 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks for a defense that allowed just 15.5 points per game. He also recorded two fumbles and handled kicking and punting duties, at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds.
Defensive line | Lewis Central | Senior
Finished with 49.5 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks for a Lewis Central team that went 11-2 and won the 4A state title, the first in school history. Made big tackles on crucial back-to-back goal-line stops in triple overtime to help the Titans beat Xavier in the state final.
Defensive line | Dowling Catholic | Senior
The best player on an always-menacing Dowling defense. Finished with 38 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Used both speed and muscle to disrupt opposing offensive lines from either side and, on occasion, take over games entirely.
Linebacker | Urbandale | Senior
Finished with 71.5 total tackles, which ranked 10th in all of 5A, but also recorded 29.5 tackles for loss, which ranked third in all of 5A. Leading tackler on the fourth-best scoring defense in 5A this season.
Linebacker | Iowa City High | Junior
Class 5A leader with 101 total tackles and 41 tackles for loss, which ranked second in the state, regardless of class. The best defensive player on the second-best scoring defense in 5A. A disruptive, sideline-to-sideline talent with speed and aggression who embraces contact.
Linebacker | Southeast Polk | Senior
The leading tackler on the third-best scoring defense in 5A. Finished with 78.5 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and also recorded three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a pick-six for a defense that allowed 14 total points in the state semifinals and finals.
Linebacker | Ankeny | Senior
Leading tackler for 5A’s best scoring defense. Finished with 69.5 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries (one was returned for a touchdown) and an interception.
Defensive back | Dike-New Hartford | Senior
Finished with eight interceptions, the second-most in Iowa this season, and returned three for touchdowns, which was the most in Iowa this season (only three players in state history have recorded more in a single-season).
Defensive back | Cedar Rapids Xavier | Junior
Finished with seven interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. Added 44 total tackles for a Xavier defense that allowed just 13.8 points per game. Was also the Saints’ top receiving option with 58 catches for 759 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensive back | Southeast Polk | Senior
Two-time Elite selection, and perhaps the best pound-for-pound player in the state, regardless of class or position, this season. Recorded four interceptions, a kickoff-return touchdown, 33 receptions for 391 yards and five touchdowns — including a game-winning Hail Mary reception in Week 1 — plus 23 solo stops and a blocked field-goal to win in Week 7.
Kicker | Cedar Rapids Xavier | Senior
Hit 16 of 20 field goal attempts, which were both the most field goals attempted and made this season, with a long of 42 yards. Also hit 48 of 49 point-after tries and recorded 30 touchbacks on 77 kickoffs.
Punter | Ankeny | Senior
Averaged a booming 41.7 yards per punt on 35 attempts. Also handled Ankeny’s kicking duties, which included going 61-for-63 on point-after tries and 38 touchbacks on 78 kickoffs.
QB: Jaxon Dailey, sr., Southeast Polk
RB: Josh Jenkins, sr., Des Moines Lincoln
RB: Colin Kadolph, sr., Ankeny
WR: Brady McCullough, sr., Ankeny
WR: Eli Raridon, sr., Valley
Utility: Jack Gilligan, sr., Dubuque Senior
OL: Liam Becher, sr., Iowa City West
OL: Cade Borud, sr., Southeast Polk
OL: Aidan Kilstrom, sr., Pleasant Valley
OL: Hank Lucas, sr., Valley
OL: Kadyn Proctor, jr., Southeast Polk
DL: Jaylen Pettus, sr., Dowling Catholic
DL: Braden Simonsen, sr., Ankeny
DL: Dominic Wiseman, sr., Davenport North
DL: Draven Woods, soph., Southeast Polk
LB: Cole Garwood, jr., Urbandale
LB: Ben Kueter, jr., Iowa City High
LB: Andrew Reed, sr., Southeast Polk
LB: Tamden Webb-Tate, sr., Ankeny
DB: Will Cornwell, sr., Ankeny
DB: Cam Guenther, sr., Linn-Mar
DB: Xavier Nwankpa, sr., Southeast Polk
K: Kyle Konrardy, jr., Dubuque Senior
P: Max Pelham, sr., Ankeny
QB: Braylon Kammrad, jr., Lewis Central
RB: Dawson Forgy, sr., Winterset
RB: Bryant Williams, sr., Burlington
WR: Javion Jondle, jr., Fort Dodge
WR: Drew Kingery, jr., Indianola
Utility: Jonathan Humpal, jr., Lewis Central
OL: Carter Gorder, sr., Mason City
OL: Joseph Hjelle, sr., Decorah
OL: Cole Hotz, sr., Waverly-Shell Rock
OL: Truman Klein, sr., Webster City
OL: Nate Westhoff, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
DL: Hunter Deyo, sr., Lewis Central
DL: McCrae Hagarty, jr., Waverly-Shell Rock
DL: Nick Miller, sr., Lewis Central
DL: Noah Storts, sr., Decorah
LB: Blake Bellamy, sr., Winterset
LB: Carter Erickson, sr., Indianola
LB: Asa Newsom, jr., Waverly-Shell Rock
LB: Thomas Sundell, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
DB: Connor Corson, sr., North Scott
DB: Watts McBride, jr., Cedar Rapids Washington
DB: Aidan McDermott, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
K: Trysten Vasquez, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier
P: Oliver Hughes, sr., North Scott
QB: Teagon Kasperbauer, jr., Harlan
RB: Marcus Beatty, sr., Independence
RB: Landyn Van Kekerix, sr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley
WR: Connor Frame, sr., Harlan
WR: Will Orness, jr., Humboldt
Utility: Caden Matson, sr., Humboldt
OL: Cody Felt, sr., ADM
OL: Ethan Hooyer, sr., Sioux Center
OL: Kale Krogh, sr., Ballard
OL: Ben Kuehnast, sr., Humboldt
OL: Gage Marty, sr., Solon
DL: Jameson Bieker, sr., Harlan
DL: Brennen Blegen, soph., Benton
DL: Tyler Lutgen, jr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton
DL: Tanner Pontow, sr., Carroll
LB: Jacob Imming, sr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton
LB: Will McLaughlin, sr., Harlan
LB: Jaxon Rozeboom, sr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley
LB: Wyatt Voelker, sr., West Delaware
DB: Jacob Brecht, sr., Benton
DB: Seth Brown, sr., Nevada
DB: Aidan Hall, jr., Harlan
K: Stephen Leinen, jr., Harlan
P: Tanner Te Slaa, sr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley
QB: Kolson Kruse, sr., Southeast Valley
RB: Pat Hennessy, sr., Waukon
RB: Preston Pope, sr., West Marshall
WR: Caleb Sauser, sr., Monticello
WR: Jake Weber, sr., Williamsburg
Utility: Preston Ries, soph., Monticello
OL: Easton Fleshman, sr., West Lyon
OL: Israel Hernandez, sr., North Fayette Valley
OL: Josh Kooi, sr., West Lyon
OL: Lyle Moore, sr., Central Lyon
OL: Pierce Woodruff, sr., Southeast Valley
DL: Owen Douglas, jr., Williamsburg
DL: Aaron Graves, sr., Southeast Valley
DL: Austin Pfantz, jr., West Marshall
DL: Michael Rumley, soph., Greene County
LB: Griffin Dierson, jr., OABCIG
LB: Zach Jensen, sr., Spirit Lake
LB: Dawson Ripperda, sr., West Lyon
LB: Lincoln Snitker, sr., Waukon
DB: Blake Janssen, sr., Iowa Falls-Alden
DB: Jagger Schmitt, sr., Clear Lake
DB: Cooper Spiess, sr., Central Lyon
K: Christian Castillo, jr., Monteillo
P: Carson Toebe, sr., Clear Lake
QB: Dylan Wiggins, jr., West Sioux
RB: Gavin Cornielson, sr., ACGC
RB: Cade Molyneux, sr., Sigourney-Keota
WR: Ryan Walters, jr., South Hardin
WR: Brady Lynott, jr., West Sioux
Utility: Jack Pettit, sr., Van Meter
OL: Mario Duenas, sr., West Sioux
OL: Easton Eledge, sr., Underwood
OL: Victor Gonzalez, sr., ACGC
OL: Lincoln Olsen, sr., Van Meter
OL: Zach Smithart, sr., Sigourney-Keota
DL: Cale Jensen, sr., Dike-New Hartford
DL: Avery Phillipi, jr., Nodaway Valley
DL: Casey Trudo, sr., Van Meter
DL: Kyson Van Vugt, sr., Western Christian
LB: Ben Gilliland, jr., Van Meter
LB: Cullen Koedam, sr., West Sioux
LB: Blake McAlister, sr., South Central Calhoun
LB: Nick Reincke, jr., Dike-New Hartford
DB: Parker Adams, sr., Dike-New Hartford
DB: Ganon Archer, sr., Van Meter
DB: Blake Van Ballegooyen, sr., West Sioux
K: Colten Clarahan, sr., Sigourney-Keota
P: Nolan DeLong, jr., Durant
QB: Dallas Kluender, sr., Woodbury Central
RB: Jackson DeWald, jr., Westwood
RB: Mathew Francis, sr., West Hancock
WR: Kadin Abele, sr., Lake Mills
WR: Carter Bleil, sr., Woodbury Central
Utility: Logan Knaack, sr., Grundy Center
OL: Cody Fox, soph., East Buchanan
OL: Rex Johnsen, sr., Logan-Magnolia
OL: Tristan Mallory, jr., Madrid
OL: Llan Martinez, sr., West Hancock
OL: Brayden Sawyer, sr., Grundy Center
DL: Will Bennett, sr., Lisbon
DL: Chet Buss, sr., North Butler
DL: Seth Hermansen, sr., Lake Mills
DL: Landen Paul, soph., North Linn
LB: Adam Hackett, sr., East Buchanan
LB: Aidan Martin, jr., AHSTW
LB: Aiden Zook, sr., North Tama
LB: Kane Zuehl, sr., West Hancock
DB: Dawson Schmit, jr., Wapsie Valley
DB: Calvin Wallis, jr., Logan-Magnolia
DB: Dexter Whitehill, sr., Grundy Center
K: Yahir Ayala, sr., Columbus
P: Rylan Barnes, jr., West Hancock
QB: Conor Gruver, sr., Easton Valley
RB: Jacob Maurer, jr., BGM, Brooklyn
RB: Lane Spieker, sr., CAM
WR: Dalton Dibert, sr., Kee, Lansing
WR: Carson Fuegen, jr., Easton Valley
Utility: Gavin Smith, sr., Audubon
OL: Wesley Galles, sr., Remsen St. Mary’s
OL: Collin Kleppe, sr., Turkey Valley
OL: Tim Willits, sr., WACO
DL: Hayden Felkey, jr., Easton Valley
DL: Cade Tenold, sr., Don Bosco
DL: Cade Ticknor, sr., CAM
LB: Eddie Burgess, sr., Montezuma
LB: Sage Evans, jr., West Harrison
LB: Andin Farrell, sr., Easton Valley
DB: William Amfahr, sr., Martensdale-St. Marys
DB: Mason Miller, jr., WACO
DB: Jacob Moel, sr., BGM, Brooklyn
K: Matthew Beisswenger, sr., Audubon
P: Trey Petersen, jr., Exira-EHK
- Mason Applegate, sr., Iowa City West
- Kai Black, jr., Urbandale
- Cole Filloon, sr., Southeast Polk
- Carter Henderson, jr., Linn-Mar
- Alex Koch, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy
- Jeron Senters, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy
- Bennett Brueck, jr., Indianola
- Titus Cram, soph., Bondurant-Farrar
- Lucci Fidone, jr., Lewis Central
- Grayson Juel, sr., North Scott
- Jakob Nelson, sr., North Scott
- A.J. Petersen, jr., North Scott
- John Powers, jr., Bondurant-Farrar
- Harrison Rosenberg, sr., Clear Creek Amana
- Cael Franzen, sr., Nevada
- Tyler Smith, jr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton
- Brett White, soph., Solon
- Will Bunn, sr., Roland-Story
- Beckett DeJean, jr., OABCIG
- Easton Harms, sr., OBCIG
- Cullen McShane, sr., MFL-Mar-Mac
- Griffin Greiner, sr., Cardinal
- Dalten Van Pelt, sr., Van Meter
- Gavin Maguire, sr., Logan-Magnolia
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.