116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A dozen of the top area high school football games for Week 4 (Sept. 16-17).
Solon at Davenport Assumption
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Thursday, at Davenport
Records and rankings: Class 3A sixth-ranked Solon is 3-0; No. 8 Assumption is 2-1.
Overview: This, probably, is Solon’s toughest remaining regular-season challenge. Both teams are scoring more than 40 points per game, though Assumption did come back down to earth with a 38-14 loss to 4A No. 1 North Scott last week. Solon’s Sean Stahle ranks third among 3A rushers with 484 yards. John Argo has 333 rushing yards and six TDs for the Knights.
Bettendorf at Cedar Rapids Prairie
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at John Wall Field
Records and rankings: Bettendorf is 1-2; Class 5A No. 9 Prairie is 2-1.
Overview: Prairie should be back to full strength this week after seven players (five starters) missed the first three games due to good-conduct violations. The Hawks didn’t collapse without them; they are one successful trick play by Cedar Falls from a 3-0 start. Caden Striegel is tied for the 5A lead with three interceptions. Bettendorf got into the win column last week, 27-6, over Muscatine. The Bulldogs had only one touchdown in their first two games.
Cedar Rapids Washington at Linn-Mar
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Linn-Mar Stadium
Records and rankings: Class 4A eighth-ranked Washington is 2-1; Linn-Mar is 3-0.
Overview: Thanks to an 18-7 win at former top-10 Pleasant Valley, Linn-Mar is 3-0 for the first time since 2014. Credit a defense that has allowed 12.0 points per game. Cam Guenther is tied for the 5A lead with three interceptions, and the Lions have 12 takeaways in three games. Washington will seek a bounceback after a 48-7 loss to Cedar Rapids Kennedy last week, and the Warriors’ final six opponents are a combined 18-3.
Clear Creek Amana at Iowa City Liberty
Time and place: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at North Liberty
Records and rankings: CCA is 2-1; Liberty is 0-3.
Overview: CCA has developed a nice balanced offensive attack that averages 184 yards rushing and 155 per game in the air. Gage Freeman averages nearly 10 yards per rush and has scored five touchdowns. Liberty is still trying to find some offensive punch; the Lightning are averaging a mere 8.3 points per game. Still, the Bolts’ defense allowed them to stay close in losses to Linn-Mar and Western Dubuque.
Davenport North at Iowa City West
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at West
Records and rankings: Both teams are 1-2.
Overview: Last week’s 39-31 loss to Dubuque Hempstead turned this into a game that West really needs to win to be in the 5A playoff mix at season’s end. Mason Applegate is tied for third in rushing touchdowns (with six) and has netted 382 ground yards. Ryne Vander Leest has 24.5 tackles to his credit. North lost a toughie, 27-23 to Dubuque Senior last week.
DeWitt Central at Marion
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Thomas Park Field
Records and rankings: DeWitt Central is 3-0; Marion is 0-3.
Overview: Despite the disparity in records, this has the makings of a competitive game — but only if Marion can rediscover an offensive attack after scoring just 15 points in the last two games. Kai Glade and Alex Mota give the Wolves a capable 1-2 punch on the ground; they have combined for 587 rushing yards. All three of Central’s wins have been by 16 points or less. The Sabers possess an effective, balanced run-pass attack that isn’t driven by any one standout.
Mediapolis at Iowa City Regina
Time and place: 7 p.m. Friday, at Regina
Records and rankings: Both teams are 3-0 overall, 0-0 Class 1A District 5. Regina is ranked No. 3 in 1A.
Overview: How will Regina respond after taking last week off? The Regals received a forfeit victory over Mid-Prairie after the Golden Hawks ran short of players. Mediapolis comes to town with a rushing attack led by junior Anthony Isley (597 yards, eight touchdowns). Both teams are allowing 10 points or less per game. Regina’s Carson Jensen has picked off three passes.
North Scott at Cedar Rapids Xavier
Time and place: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Saints Field
Records and rankings: Both teams are 3-0. North Scott is ranked No. 1 in Class 4A; Xavier is No. 4.
Overview: One of the top games in the state, in any class, this week. It’s also a rematch of a state semifinal last year, won by North Scott, 17-10 in overtime. The Lancers have a dynamite passing attack piloted by Grayson Juel, who has completed 78 percent of his throws for 741 yards and 12 TDs. Jacob Nelson leads 4A in receptions (25), yards (331) and TDs (seven). Xavier has an ace wideout as well in Aidan McDermott, and the Saints’ Thomas Sundell has recorded 26 tackles.
West Des Moines Dowling at Iowa City High
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Bates Field
Records and rankings: Class 5A No. 6 Dowling is 1-2; City High is 3-0.
Overview: Is City High in the midst of a return for glory? We’ll know a lot more about the Little Hawks after this week, which marks their toughest test on their schedule. They have outscored their first three opponents by a 152-5 margin and lead 5A in scoring offense and defense. Darren Richardson has scored five rushing touchdowns, and the Little Hawks have forced nine turnovers. Dowling has been ordinary offensively and is averaging just 12 points per game.
Center Point-Urbana at Mount Vernon
Time and place: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Mount Vernon (First Street Field)
Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-1.
Overview: If Center Point-Urbana is involved, bank on a low-scoring grind. The Stormin’ Pointers average a very modest 11.3 points per game, but are 2-1 thanks to a defense that allows a 3A-best 5.7 points per contest. Ethan Cress leads that crew with 20 tackles. Cole Werner has amassed 409 yards. CPU will be tested by a Mount Vernon attack that scores at a 41-point clip, including a 49-0 whipping of Tipton last week. Trenton Pitlik has accounted for nine TDs.
North Fayette Valley at Waukon
Time and place: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Waukon
Records and rankings: Ninth-ranked North Fayette Valley is 3-0 overall, 0-0 Class 2A District 4; No. 7 Waukon is 2-1, 0-0.
Overview: North Fayette Valley suffered through four straight losing seasons after its 10-1 campaign of 2016, but the TigerHawks are 3-0 this fall behind a defense that has surrendered just six points. Kaleb White and Blake Reichter have combined for 442 rushing yards, and both have three touchdowns. Defending 2A state champ Waukon has bounced back from a decisive Week 1 loss to Waverly-Shell Rock with two impressive wins. Pat Hennessy has rushed for 415 yards and five TDs.
West Delaware at Waverly-Shell Rock
Time and place: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Waverly
Records and rankings: Class 3A No. 4 West Delaware is 2-1; 4A No. 5 WSR is 3-0.
Overview: Waverly-Shell Rock has climbed swiftly in the 4A rankings, thanks to a Week 1 statement win over Waukon. West Delaware provides another stiff challenge behind two-way star Wyatt Voelker, who ranks second in 3A in tackles for loss, with nine. Kyle Cole has 692 yards of total offense. WSR QB Grant Halverson attempted just 10 passes last week, but completed eight for 209 yards in a 31-14 win over Webster City.