Week 5 Eastern Iowa high school football preview capsules

Battles of unbeatens: Prairie-West, Decorah-Xavier, Bellevue-West Branch

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Gazette area prep football capsules for Week 5:



Cedar Rapids Prairie at Iowa City West

Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Trojan Field

Records and rankings — Both teams are 4-0 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 8. West is ranked No. 2; Prairie is No. 9.

Overview — The big schools begin their district journey this week, and this matchup features the last two remaining 4A unbeatens on the east side of the state. Prairie best West last year on its way to a district championship, then the Trojans turned the tables in the postseason. West is coming off a frighteningly impressive 52-6 drubbing of Iowa City High in the Battle for the Boot, and the Trojans have one of the best passing combinations in 4A in Evan Flitz and Traevis Buchanan. Prairie is more ground-oriented and has a workhorse in Keegan Simmons, whose 740 rushing yards rank third in 4A. Simmons has run for 10 touchdowns.



Decorah at Cedar Rapids Xavier

Time and site — 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Saints Field

Records and rankings — Both teams are 4-0 overall, 2-0 Class 3A District 3. Xavier is ranked No. 1; Decorah is No. 9.

Overview — The last time Xavier lost a game at Saints Field was the first round of the 2015 playoffs, and the party crasher was Decorah. The Saints got a measure of revenge with a 38-6 victory in Winneshiek County last year, and these teams enter Friday as part of a three-way tie for the district lead (along with Waverly-Shell Rock). Xavier clicked on all cylinders last week in a 50-0 rout of Charles City as Quinn Schulte passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more. Decorah has scored 104 points in its first two district wins, and is led by RB Jake Muhlbauer (384 yards, five touchdowns).



Cedar Rapids Washington at Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium (Jefferson is the home team and its fans will sit on the west side)

Records and rankings — Washington is 2-2 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 5; Jefferson is 1-3, 0-0.

Overview — Jefferson encounters an intracity rival for the fourth straight week, and Washington faces its fourth Metro foe in five weeks. The Warriors bounced back convincingly from a Week 3 rout at the hands of Bettendorf, handling former coach Paul James’ Linn-Mar squad, 38-0. Haven Henningsen ran for 201 yards, sending his season total to 529. Jefferson has been pretty good defensively in the last two weeks. Washington has a biggie next week against Cedar Falls in a game that probably will decide the 4A-5 title, but Jefferson is capable of throwing a scare into the Warriors if they look ahead.



Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Burlington

Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Burlington

Records and rankings — Kennedy is 3-1 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 8; Burlington is 0-4, 0-0.

Overview — Kennedy has won two games in a row, and is a safe bet to extend that streak this week. The Cougars rank second in 4A in scoring defense at 10 points per game, and sophomore Cade Parker is the 4A leader in tackles with 43.5. Brock Hromidko has 33.5 tackles to his credit, seven for loss. They’ll have their eyes on a competent Burlington passing attack. L.T. Beck has thrown for 580 yards, completing 55 percent of his passes. Mason Leinbach (19 receptions, 186 yards) is the primary receiver. Two of the Grayhounds’ losses have been by just seven points.

Marion at Maquoketa 

Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Maquoketa

Records and rankings — Marion is 2-2 overall, 1-1 Class 3A District 4; Maquoketa is 0-4, 0-2.

Overview — Marion faces an ebb in its schedule and an opportunity to make a push. The Indians are coming off a 34-14 loss to Dubuque Wahlert last week, but will be favored in their next three games. Quarterback Trevor Paulsen has passed for 619 yards and has rushed for 325, with a combined 13 touchdowns. Blair Brooks has five receiving TDs. After a 7-4 season in 2015 in which they reached the second round of the 3A playoffs, the Cardinals have gone 1-12 with a current losing streak of six games. Maquoketa has surrendered 47.3 points per game, most in 3A.

Clinton at Iowa City High

Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Bates Field

Records and rankings — Both teams are 1-3 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 7.

Overview — Despite the 1-3 start, City High has a silver lining in the emergence of Zach Jones as one of the top receivers in the state. Jones leads 4A in receptions (37) and ranks third in yards with 521. Now, the Little Hawks would like to get him into the end zone more often; he has three TDs in four games. Both teams have struggled defensively: City High is allowing 39.0 points per game; Clinton 36.8. And yet, the winner of this game has a fighting chance to make the playoffs from a district in which nobody stands out other than Bettendorf.

Highland at Iowa City Regina

Time and site — 7 p.m. Friday, at Regina

Records and rankings — Highland is 1-3 overall, 0-2 Class 1A District 4; third-rated Regina is 2-2, 2-0.

Overview — As expected, Regina has righted itself since starting district play. The Regals own a 48-game district win streak; the Regals are 33-0 in district play since moving down to 1A in 2012. Isaac Vollstedt has rushed for 433 yards with three touchdowns. Highland is aiming to end a three-game losing streak in which it has surrendered 176 points. The Huskies have some winnable games on their schedule after this week.

Ottumwa at Linn-Mar

Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Linn-Mar Stadium

Records and rankings — Both teams are 0-4 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 8.

Overview — Both teams have struggled to put points on the board. Linn-Mar is averaging 8.3 points per contest and has been shut out twice, including a 38-0 loss to Cedar Rapids Washington last week. Ottumwa is scoring at a 9.5-point clip and is in the midst of a 14-game losing streak. Linn-Mar QB Trot Carey has passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns, and Alex Hess has rushed for 244 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

Bellevue at West Branch

Time and site — 7 p.m. Friday, at West Branch

Records and rankings — Both teams are 4-0 overall, 2-0 Class 1A District 3. Bellevue is ranked seventh; West Branch is No. 8.

Overview — The winner of this game absolutely has the inside track to the 1A-3 title. Bellevue is the defending champion; the Comets won last year’s contest, 26-13. Both teams have recovered nicely from the graduation of big-yardage tailbacks (Peter Kilburg of Bellevue, Luke Lenoch of West Branch). The Bears have become a potent passing team behind QB Beau Cornwell (67-percent passing without an interception, 783 yards, 10 TDs). Ben Thompson and Jacob Graves highlight the receiving corps. Bellevue is second in 1A in scoring (42.8 ppg) behind a balanced attack led by QB Cade Daugherty and RB Hunter Clasen.



Solon at Oskaloosa

Time and site — 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Oskaloosa

Records and rankings — Third-ranked Solon is 4-0 overall, 2-0 Class 3A District 5; Oskaloosa is 3-1, 2-0.

Overview — Oskaloosa probably poses the last serious threat for the Spartans’ stampede through the regular season. The Spartans have been as impressive and as dominant as anybody in Class 3A through the first four weeks, blanking Mount Vernon and Iowa City Regina, then winning their first two district games by a combined 94-7. Sophomore QB Cam Miller has passed for 653 yards and nine touchdowns without an interception. Osky has won three straight lopsided games after a Week 1 loss to Pella. Seth Howard has thrown for 623 yards and five TDs.

Monticello at Cascade

Time and site — 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Cascade

Records and rankings — Monticello is 3-1 overall, 1-1 Class 2A District 4; fourth-ranked Cascade is 4-0, 2-0.

Overview — After knocking off former No. 1 Waukon 25-20, Cascade will try to avoid a letdown against a very capable Highway 151 rival. The Cougars remain the top team in 2A scoring defense, allowing 6.5 points per game. They’ll have a challenge with the prolific Panthers, who have scored 34 points or more on three occasions this season. Jacob Manternach has passed for 754 yards and five touchdowns, and Max Keleher has run for 764 yards and nine scores. John Supple scored the go-ahead TD for the Cougars against Waukon and averages 27.3 yards per catch.

East Buchanan at Lisbon

Time and site — 7 p.m. Friday, at Lisbon

Records and rankings — East Buchanan is 3-1 overall, 1-1 Class A District 4; No. 8 Lisbon is 4-0, 2-0.

Overview — Both teams were involved in nail-biters last week. East Buchanan dropped a 14-13 overtime decision to Wapsie Valley, coming up short on an attempt to win it with a two-point conversion. Lisbon, meanwhile, gave up its first points of the season but still edged North Linn, 20-19. We’re probably looking at a low-scoring grind-it-out battle; Lisbon is allowing 6.3 points per game, East Buchanan 8.0. The Bucs’ Brayden Nunemaker has rushed for 300 yards.



l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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