116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Area capsules for the first round of the high school football playoffs:
CLASS 4A: CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON (4-5) at No. 2 BETTENDORF (9-0)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Bettendorf
* Overview: Jefferson makes its first playoff appearance since 2008, and it will take a massive effort to extend it past the first round. Bettendorf has been severely tested only once all season, in Week 6, an overtime win over Iowa City West. The Bulldogs are playoff veterans, making their 30th postseason trip, including 17 in a row. Four Bulldogs have rushed for more than 400 yards, led by Justice O'Conner (856 yards, 14 touchdowns). Bettendorf is averaging 40.9 points per game. Jefferson finished in a three-way tie for third in its district, earning the fourth and final spot via point-spread. J-Hawks QB Jesse Furrow has passed for 1,091 yards and nine TDs.
CLASS 4A: CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY (2-7) at MUSCATINE (7-2)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Muscatine
* Overview: It's a first-round rematch from 2012, when the Cougars upset the Muskies on the road. Kennedy is traditionally a slow-starting, late-surging outfit that's a tough out in the postseason, and thus must be taken seriously Wednesday despite its record. The Cougars are one of two 2-7 teams to qualify statewide (Clinton is the other), winning two of their last three games after an 0-6 start. The Cougars drubbed Waterloo West, 48-28, Friday behind 100-yard rishing games from Jay Blank and Tyler Dralle. Muscatine has won four straight games, scoring 30-plus points each time. Muskies QB Matt Wieskamp has passed for 1,297 yards and 13 touchdowns, adding 629 rushing yards and 14 TDs on the ground.
CLASS 4A: CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE (4-5) at PLEASANT VALLEY (6-3)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Pleasant Valley
* Overview: Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey returns home; he graduated from Pleasant Valley in 2001 and played quarterback there under his father, Ed Morrissey. The Hawks earned their third straight playoff bid by shredding Ottumwa, 48-0, Friday behind an uncharacteristic wing-T attack. Pleasant Valley has qualified for the seventh straight year, beating Iowa City West, 38-24, in Week 9 to capture the District 7 championship. The Spartans have won six straight games after an 0-3 start, averaging 42 points per game in the past six weeks. Prairie's Keagan Pinter has rushed for 1,051 yards and 10 touchdowns.
CLASS 4A: CLINTON (2-7) at No. 1 CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON (9-0)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Kingston Stadium
* Overview: This appears to have 'mismatch” written all over it. The Warriors have destroyed everything in their path this season, and haven't been threatened in a fourth quarter yet. Washington's defensive average of 10.1 points per game is tops in Class 4A. Connor Vincent leads that unit with 87.5 tackles, including 20 for loss. Tavian Patrick ignites the offense with 794 rushing yards. Washington has won 15 of its last 16 games, starting with Week 4 of last season. Clinton's wins have come against Davenport North and Davenport West. The River Kings are allowing more than 44 points per game.
CLASS 4A: DAVENPORT CENTRAL (4-5) at No. 6 LINN-MAR (8-1)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Linn-Mar Stadium
* Overview: Linn-Mar has enjoyed one of the state's biggest turnarounds, transforming itself from a 2-7 team that couldn't stop anybody to a district-championship squad. Much of the reason has come from the defensive side of the ball. After allowing 42 points per game last year, that figure has dropped to 16.7. Trevor Noble is a two-way big-play threat, averaging 25.5 yards per catch and scoring on nine of his 18 receptions, and also intercepting four passes. Pachino Hill and Tony Marshall have combined to rush for nearly 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns for Central.
CLASS 4A: OTTUMWA (5-4) at IOWA CITY WEST (5-4)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Trojan Field
* Overview: Both teams are coming off losses in their regular-season finales. West gave up an early 14-point lead in a 38-24 defeat to Pleasant Valley in a game that determined the District 7 title. Ottumwa, meanwhile, was dominated in all phases of a 48-0 whipping at Cedar Rapids Prairie. West's offense has picked up greatly in the last two-thirds of the season. After averaging 6 points per game in the first three weeks, the Trojans have tallied 30.3 per game in the last six. Much of the credit goes to the passing game led by Aaron Bleil (1,663 yards, 12 TDs). Ottumwa's Brok Hopwood has completed nearly 60 percent of his throws for 1,553 yards and 14 TDs.
CLASS 3A: CHARLES CITY (5-4) at No. 8 CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER (6-3)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Saints Field
* Overview: After reaching the 4A state finals in 2012 and 2013, Xavier begins its first foray into the 3A postseason. The Saints shared the 3A District 4 title with Solon and Western Dubuque, earning the top spot among the three based on point differential. Xavier brought its stingy defense with it to the smaller class; its 9.4 points per game is second-best in 3A. Thomas Ickes (34.5 tackles) and Dylan Eller (five interceptions) have led that unit. Charles City is in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Levi Blaine has passed for 1,018 yards. Three of the Comets' four losses have come by six points or less.
CLASS 3A: INDEPENDENCE (6-3) at WASHINGTON (6-3)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Washington, Iowa
* Overview: Independence makes its first playoff appearance in 29 years under unusual circumstances. Coach Brandon Krusey, who had guided the Mustangs' turnaround in three years, was terminated from his position Thursday. The Mustangs carry on under acting coach Justin Putz. They've won five straight games, including back-to-back shutouts against West Delaware and Maquoketa. Mason Scott and Drew Davis have four interceptions apiece. Washington was the 3A state runner-up last year; the Demons have got it cranking offensively, averaging 55.5 points through their current four-game win streak. Daryn Sebelius has passed for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns, and has rushed for 899 yards.
CLASS 3A: DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION (5-4) at No. 3 SOLON (8-1)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Solon
* Overview: A pair of playoff veterans meet, probably, for the first time. Assumption is making its eighth consecutive appearance and its 26th overall, but this is new stuff for the Knights in 3A. Solon has qualified for the 25th time and the 10th year in a row. The Spartans shared the 3A-4 title with Cedar Rapids Xavier and Western Dubuque, and received the No. 2 playoff slot based on points. The Spartans have won five state titles (most recently in 2010) and own a playoff record of 49-19. Brandon Kramer has rushed for 1,098 yards and 12 touchdowns. Assumption is coming off a 45-27 loss to Washington (Iowa).
CLASS 2A: CENTER POINT-URBANA (6-3) at UNION (7-2)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at La Porte City
* Overview: This is a rematch from a Week 2 non-district game, won by CPU, 32-12. Union has responded with six wins in its last seven games, capturing the 2A District 6 championship, scoring 41.2 points per game in district action. The Knights are making their seventh straight postseason appearance with a crew that includes some talented youth. Sophomore Isaiah Vaughn has rushed for 1,302 yards and 20 touchdowns. Quarterback John Boisen also is a sophomore. CPU started the season 4-0, but has dropped three of its last five against extremely tough competition. Brandon Kinsey has racked up 1,133 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
CLASS 1A: ALBURNETT (5-4) at No. 1 IOWA CITY REGINA (8-1)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Regina
* Overview: Regina's quest for a fifth straight state championship begins Wednesday. The Regals were 2A champions in 2010 and 2011, then struck gold in 1A in 2012 and 2013. The Regals are making their 11th consecutive playoffs appearance and have an eye-popping all-time postseason record of 33-6. Drew Cook is one of the state's most efficient quarterbacks, passing for 1,382 yards and 17 touchdowns (against one interception). Nick Phillips has caught 32 passes for 372 yards and seven TDs. Alburnett had won four straight games before suffering a 42-0 loss Friday to West Branch. Junior quarterback Dillon Caves has passed for 1,085 yards and rushed for 715.
CLASS 1A: SIGOURNEY-KEOTA (5-4) at No. 4 WEST BRANCH (9-0)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at West Branch
* Overview: With one exception (Week 4 vs. North Cedar), this season has been a series of blowouts for West Branch, and the Bears must be considered as one of the top threats to capture the 1A championship. They rank No. 1 in 1A in scoring (45.4 points per game) and second in points allowed (5.7). Sophomore Luke Lenoch has rushed for 1,669 yards and 25 touchdowns while quarterback Lucas Lamont has thrown for 1,345 yards, completing 68 percent of his aerials and hitting on 15 touchdowns. Sigourney-Keota has scored 159 points in the past three weeks, albeit against competition nowhere near West Branch's level. Peyton Crawford has rushed for 1,547 yards and 20 TDs.
CLASS A: LONE TREE (6-3) at LISBON (6-3)
* Site and time: 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Lisbon
* Overview: Lisbon has qualified for the postseason for the 11th straight year, a feat matched by only one area team - Iowa City Regina. Lisbon's three losses have come against two top-10 1A teams (West Branch and North Cedar) and the top-rated Class A squad (Maquoketa Valley). Benton Frey has rushed for 866 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. The Lions have run up 40-plus points in each of their last four games. Lone Tree has won five of its last six, with the only loss a 26-21 nail-biter to unbeaten Pekin. Jared Hudson has rushed for 1,147 yards and 16 touchdowns.
OTHER GAMES INVOLVING AREA TEAMS (All games, 7 p.m. Wednesday)
* Class 3A: Dubuque Wahlert (3-6) at No. 7 West Delaware (8-1)
* Class 3A: Newton (6-3) at Clear Creek Amana (7-2)
* Class 3A: Western Dubuque (6-3) at No. 10 Waverly-Shell Rock (7-2)
* Class 2A: Aplington-Parkersburg (6-3) at Dyersville Beckman (7-2)
* Class 2A: Mid-Prairie (4-5) at No. 7 Albia (8-1)
* Class 2A: Monroe PCM (4-5) at No. 3 Williamsburg (9-0)
* Class 2A: Monticello (4-5) at No. 5 North Fayette Valley (8-1)
* Class 2A: Mount Vernon (5-4) at No. 10 Mediapolis (8-1)
* Class 2A: New Hampton (6-3) at Anamosa (7-2)
* Class 2A: North Polk (5-4) at South Tama (7-2)
* Class 2A: West Burlington-Notre Dame (4-5) at No. 6 Cascade (8-1)
* Class 1A: Hudson (6-3) at No. 8 North Cedar (8-1)
* Class 1A: Lake Mills (3-6) at No. 3 South Winneshiek (9-0)
* Class A: Belle Plaine (6-3) at Van Buren (7-2)
* Class A: Edgewood-Colesburg (4-5) at BGM (7-2)
* Class A: North Linn (4-5) at No. 3 Pekin (9-0)
* Class A: Winfield-Mount Union (5-4) at No. 1 Maquoketa Valley (9-0)
* 8-Player: Clarksville (7-2) at No. 9 Turkey Valley (8-1)
* 8-Player: Lansing Kee (6-3) at No. 2 Janesville (9-0)
* 8-Player: Meskwaki Settlement (5-4) at No. 5 Elkader Central (9-0)
* 8-Player: Wayne (7-2) at No. 6 HLV (8-1)
* 8-Player: West Central (4-5) at Northwood-Kensett (6-3)