Prep Football

Four Downs: Week 8 Iowa high school football questions

Gazette prep writers tackle football questions

Iowa City West's Traevis Buchanan (7) celebrates his touchdwon catch with teammate Dillon Doyle (9) against Cedar Rapids Prairie during the first quarter of play at Trojan Field in Iowa City on Friday, September 22, 2017. (Justin Torner/Freelance for the Gazette)
Iowa City West's Traevis Buchanan (7) celebrates his touchdwon catch with teammate Dillon Doyle (9) against Cedar Rapids Prairie during the first quarter of play at Trojan Field in Iowa City on Friday, September 22, 2017. (Justin Torner/Freelance for the Gazette)

The Gazette's Jeff Linder, Jeff Johnson and K.J. Pilcher tackle prep football questions in Four Downs.

1st and 10

Q: If Class 4A were structured like the College Football Playoff, who would be your top four teams to reach the semifinals?

JL: West Des Moines Dowling and Iowa City West are undefeated, and thus, are locks. They would be my 1 and 2 seeds. West Des Moines Valley has put together a 6-1 record against the strongest schedule in 4A — all seven of the Tigers’ opponents are above .500 — so they get the 3 seed. The 4 seed would come down to three teams: Cedar Falls, Johnston and Waukee (the latter two play Friday). I would give the Tigers the last spot based on the margin of their one loss, one point in overtime to West.

2nd and long 

Q: Are you surprised that demonstrations during the national anthem have reached high school football?

JJ: Not at all. It was inevitable it was going to happen. Is it appropriate? I am NOT going down that road.

3rd and short

Q: What is the best team with a losing record?

KJP: You can look to Dubuque County and find two teams that fit the bill. Both Dubuque Wahlert and Western Dubuque are 3-4. Wahlert lost its first two games of the season by a combined five points, including a 12-10 loss to the Bobcats. The Golden Eagles also handled a 5-2 Marion team. The Bobcats opened the season 3-0, beating a decent Waterloo West team, but district play has come with a four-game skid.

4th and goal 

Q: If you were an offensive coordinator, what offense would you run?

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JL: I’m not an offensive guru by any means, so it would probably be something simple and close to the vest. Hopefully I would be flexible enough to put together something that plays to the strengths of my personnel.

KJP: I like physical, ground-and-pound offenses. Run the Power-I, which is a rarity anymore. If you have the bodies to do dominate up front, you can control the ball and the clock. It can also lend itself to nifty play-action passing. Today’s athletes are bigger, faster and stronger, making this tough to execute.

JJ: I’m a traditional guy. Give me a pro set. A quarterback, a fullback, a tailback, a tight end and a couple of receivers. I’d mix it up, certainly, from time to time, going three and four wides, depending on my personnel and the situation. But I am not throwing it on every down. Or running it on every down, for that matter.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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