Ben Kueter excels defensively in first football game as Iowa commit

The junior linebacker will play football and wrestle at Iowa in two years.

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Jerod Ringwald

City High tight end Ben Kueter warms up before a football game between Iowa City City High and Dowling at Bates Field in Iowa City on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. The Little Hawks defeated the Maroons 17-14. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter


Iowa City High School hadn’t beaten Iowa City West High School in the Battle of the Boot rivalry game in four years. 

A dominant performance by the Little Hawks, ending in blowout fashion, 56-7, changed that. 

The Little Hawks utilized a game plan similar to the Hawkeyes — winning with defense and the ground game. 

City High gave up roughly 250 yards of total offense and held a West High team that walloped them 56-20 and 35-7 just a year ago to one score. 

The Little Hawks also forced multiple turnovers Friday night at Bates Field.

On offense, it was the Darren Richardson show. The senior running back accounted for more than half of City High’s approximately 550 yards of total offense and four rushing touchdowns. 

“He’s our workhorse,” City High head coach Mitch Moore said of Richardson postgame. “ Yeah, I mean we’ve got three great backs, one of them was injured tonight. Joey Bouska you know, he’s our guy who can really bust one open. But Darren is our workhorse you know Darren’s our leader. Darren is the heartbeat of this team and so when he gets rolling it’s really special.”

One of the other team leaders, recent UI football and wrestling commit Ben Kueter, didn’t have such a flashy night on the stat sheet. 

The two-way player, filling roles at tight end and linebacker, didn’t touch the ball offensive but made his presence felt on defense. Kueter made multiple stops on defense, some of them for a loss of yardage. 

Kueter didn’t mind his slow night on offense. It was all about getting the win.

“It’s awesome,” Kueter said of the win. “I did my job on offense. If I’m going to block, I’m going to block. If they throw me the ball, I’m going to catch the ball, but, defense, it was awesome. We had a couple hiccups here and there. We found them calling it away from where I was going in the defensive scheme.”

Kueter’s first victory over West High comes just six days after he announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes via Twitter

Kueter said he knew he wanted to stay in Iowa City immediately after his visit. 

“I took my visit Saturday it was a wrestling visit in the morning and then I went to the football game for a football visit,” Kueter said.  “I got to talk to coach [Kirk] Ferentz, Brian Ferentz and I just knew right then and there, that’s where I wanted to be. I’ve grown up a Hawk and that’s just where I wanted to be. It was a pretty easy decision.”

Keuter said that he told his family his plan before posting it on social media. 

The three-star football athlete and two-time 220-pound state champion wrestler said it was important that he be able to continue both sports in college, adding that he’ll continue to do both until he can’t. 

As for the season-overlap, Keuter said he’ll cross that bridge when he gets there. 

City High plays at Davenport North next week at 7 p.m. 

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