SAINT ANSGAR, Iowa - “We wanted it last year and we didn’t get it, so it’s something we strive for,” Jack Sievert told KIMT in August, referring to the playoffs.
2018 was the first time in 13 years that the Saints hadn’t made the playoffs. This year, Saint Ansgar is in position to accomplish what it did in 2011 – win a state title. But getting to the state semifinal did not just happen overnight.
“It started last year when we ended with Central Springs and it’s just been a grind to get back to where we should be,” said quarterback Cade Duckert.
The Saints are excited to be headed back to the UNI-Dome and are certain experience is on their side.
“It’s something not everybody gets to do,” Sievert said. “We’ve had the fortunate success of going there. This will be our third time in four years so it’s just hard work.”
“I mean, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to get back there. We know what we have to do to do that so we’ve just got to keep working,” Duckert added.
According to QuikStats, Duckert has only put the ball in the air 27 times throughout this season. The Saints offense is centered on the ground game.
That is where Sievert is the workhorse. He has tallied 1,919 rushing yards on the year to lead the state with 36 touchdowns. His mindset is simple.
“Why throw it if you don’t have to? It’s more likely to get picked off, more likely to turn the ball over if you let it go during a play.”
The Saints’ journey to a state title continues on Nov. 15 beginning with Grundy Center at 10 AM in the semifinals. Until then, the team will focus and prepare.
“We’ve got to have a great week of practice. We’ve got to get in the weight room this week and just keep the routine,” said Duckert.