MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
The top-ranked Saints s ... »
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Area football capsules for Week 7:
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium
Records and rankings — West is 4-2 overall, 1-1 Class 4A District 8; Kennedy is 4-2, 2-0.
Overview — In a district in which three teams — maybe four — are chasing two playoff berths, this is a pivotal game. With four consecutive wins (all by 17 points or more), Kennedy has most definitely gotten its groove back. The Cougars’ defense has allowed just 34 points in the past four games. It’s a must-win for West, which can’t afford to fall two games off the pace. The Trojans easily broke a two-game losing streak last week, 59-7 against Burlington. Oliver Martin leads 4A in catches (40) and receiving yards (605).
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Bates Field
Records and rankings — Muscatine is 4-2 overall, 1-1 Class 4A District 7; No. 6 City High is 5-1, 2-0.
Overview — A win would likely wrap up a playoff berth for City High, while a loss would probably force the Little Hawks to beat Bettendorf next week to reach the postseason. City’s offense is clicking right now; the Little Hawks have put up 49 points in each of the last two weeks. These teams have quarterbacks with nearly identical numbers. City’s Nate Wieland has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 945 yards; Muscatine’s Luke Wichers is at 61.9 percent and 946 yards. Alphonso Soko adds 823 rushing yards and 10 TDs for the Muskies.
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at John Wall Field
Records and rankings — Linn-Mar is 2-4, 1-1 Class 4A District 8; No. 9 Prairie is 5-1, 2-0.
Overview — A Linn-Mar upset win could really muddle the 4A-8 race. Prairie is on a five-game winning streak, and the Hawks have risen to No. 4 in 4A in scoring offense (40.7 ppg). Joseph Meyer has rushed for 676 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Hawks don’t throw the ball a lot, but Dakota Simonson (32 of 50, 700 yards) is efficient enough to keep opponents honest. Linn-Mar quarterback Reese Phillips has thrown for 963 yards.
Time and site — 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Waverly
Records and rankings — No. 1-ranked Xavier is 6-0 overall, 4-0 Class 3A District 3; Waverly-Shell Rock is 4-2, 3-1.
Overview — Xavier’s four district games have had a similar feel to them — dominance. The Saints have won by counts of 47-14, 35-7, 38-6 and 45-0. This is probably their toughest remaining regular-season test. Maliki Wilson leads 3A in rushing at 1,103 yards (11.4 per carry, 13 touchdowns). Bryce Schulte completes two-thirds of his passes with a 9-to-1 TD-to-INT rate. And the defense has been unbending ... just one first down allowed last week vs. Independence. Waverly-Shell Rock probably needs to win out or a Benton Community loss to make the postseason.
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Thomas Park Field
Records and rankings — Sixth-rated CCA is 6-0 overall, 4-0 Class 4A District 4; Marion is 4-2, 3-1.
Overview — The meat of Marion’s schedule has arrived. The Indians host CCA this week, then conclude the season against West Delaware (away) and Davenport Assumption (home). No matter what happens, it has been a season of major progress in Tim Lovell’s inaugural season. CCA is flying high after dropping West Delaware, 30-14, last week, forcing five turnovers and blocking a punt. The Clippers are third in 3A scoring defense (6.0 ppg allowed) with three shutouts. Cory Siders is tied for eighth in the state (all classes) with five interceptions. Marion’s duo of Owen Cartensen and Chris Mohwinkle has combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards.
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Mason City
Records and rankings — Fifth-ranked Washington is 5-1 overall, 1-1 Class 4A District 5; Mason City is 3-3, 1-1.
Overview — Washington received an unwanted wake-up call last week, dropping a 27-21 decision to Cedar Falls, and the Warriors have no remaining margin for error if they aspire to make the 4A playoffs. They’ll be solid favorites to bounce back this week behind the passing tandem of Bryan Kunde (1,148 yards, 14 TDs) and Drew Dostal (25 receptions, 493 yards, six TDs) and a defense that yields just 13.7 points per game. Mason City emphatically ended a three-game losing streak last week, 65-7 over Waterloo East.
Time and site — 7 p.m. Friday, at Keosauqua
Records and rankings — Top-ranked Regina is 5-1 overall, 4-0 Class 1A District 4; Van Buren is 0-6, 0-4.
Overview — This has full potential to get ugly in a big hurry. The six-time defending-champion Regals are facing a Van Buren outfit that has allowed 189 points in the last three weeks, and is being outscored by an average margin of 51-8. Jared Brinkman has collected 38.5 tackles for the Regals, with Trae Rogers has intercepted four passes.
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Waterloo
Records and rankings — Both teams are 0-6 overall, 0-2 Class 4A District 5.
Overview — Jefferson has faced the eighth-strongest schedule in 4A, but it softens drastically Friday. The J-Hawks are heavily favored to go on the road and earn their first win. Tavian Rashed leads the big-school class in tackles with 74.5, and also has rushed for 317 yards. Tyrell Gordan has run for 362 yards for East, which has allowed 56.5 points per game.
Time and site — 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Fayette (Upper Iowa University)
Records and rankings — Second-ranked Union is 6-0 overall, 4-0 Class 2A District 4; No. 5 Waukon is 5-1, 4-0.
Overview — The three-week, three-team round robin between the three 2A-4 heavyweights begins this week. Then, Union travels to No. 1 North Fayette Valley (6-0, 4-0) in Week 8 and Waukon travels to West Union in the finale. Union is the 2A leader in scoring offense (50.0 ppg) and scoring defense (2.2 ppg). Isaiah Vaughn has 884 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns to his credit, while Troy Hanus has completed 71 percent of his passes for 862 yards and seven scores. Waukon has won four in a row after a 21-20 non-district loss to New Hampton in Week 2. Abe Schwartz is closing in on 1,000 passing yards; Mitchell Snitker has 27 catches for 411 yards and seven TDs.
Time and site — 7:30 p.m. Friday, at West Liberty
Records and rankings — No. 9 Williamsburg is 5-1 overall, 4-0 Class 2A District 5; West Liberty is 4-2, 4-0.
Overview — After a 1-8 campaign last year, West Liberty has made great strides with a fairly youthful roster and is a surprising district contender as it hits the stretch run. Junior Joe Kelly has rushed for 604 yards, and sophomore Seth Feldman has thrown for seven touchdowns. Williamsburg is a consistent playoff-quality program, and a win Friday would likely set up a winner-take-all Week 9 battle with Mount Vernon. The Raiders have handled their four district foes by a 191-20 margin. The duo of Jason Wardenburg and Gage Hazen-Fabor has netted a combined 1,355 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Time and site — 7 p.m. Friday, at Bellevue
Records and rankings — Clayton Ridge is 5-1 overall, 4-0 Class 1A District 3; No. 9 Bellevue is 6-0, 4-0.
Overview — Sole possession of the 1A-3 lead is on the line, though Clayton Ridge still has a tough trip to West Branch on the horizon in Week 9. Bellevue has ridden RB Peter Kilburg to prosperity; the senior has netted 1,218 yards (second-most in 1A) and 15 touchdowns. The Comets are allowing just 7.8 points per game. Clayton Ridge counters with a strong, balanced attack that features quarterback Jace Moore (1,207 passing yards, 15 touchdowns), receiver Robby Sweers (24 catches, 616 yards) and RB Eric Ihde (741 yards, eight TDs).
Time and site — 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Dubuque (Dalzell Field)
Records and rankings — Western Dubuque is 4-2 overall, 1-1 Class 4A District 7; Senior is 3-3, 2-0.
Overview — Despite a loss to North Scott last week, Western Dubuque remains in good position to win its district in its first year in 4A, but only if the Bobcats can handle the Rams. Kameron Kramer is a workhorse; he has rushed 177 times already for 823 yards and six touchdowns. Sam Schnee has 756 rushing yards and 11 TDs for Senior.
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