The 2018 high-school football season begins for a few 8-player teams Friday. Six games involve area teams:
Lone Tree at Midland
Site and time: 7 p.m., at Wyoming
Last year’s records: Lone Tree was 8-3; Midland was 9-3.
Overview: Both teams are coming off seasons that stretched into the postseason. Midland reached the semifinals, with two of its three losses coming to eventual state champion Don Bosco. Among the Eagles’ victories was a 52-20 decision over Lone Tree. Midland lost prolific running back Austin Smith to graduation, but returns a good aerial combo of Britan Martens and Carter Mohr. Lone Tree welcomes back Bryce Houser, who rushed for 1,374 yards and 26 touchdowns, as well as quarterback Harmon Miller (1,182 passing yards, 16 TDs).
Colo-Nesco at HLV
Site and time: 7 p.m., at Victor
Last year’s records: Colo-Nesco was 6-3; HLV was 9-3.
Overview: These teams were district foes last year, and HLV captured that league title in a run that included a 63-14 rout of Colo-Nesco. The Warriors went on to reach the 8-player quarterfinals. HLV had two 1,000-rushers in 2017, and one of them — Chase Sternhagen — returns. Most of the Royals’ key players from last season have graduated.
Southeast Warren at Montezuma
Site and time: 7 p.m., at Montezuma
Last year’s records: Southeast Warren was 4-5; Montezuma was 4-4.
Overview: Both teams are making their 8-player debut after middle-of-the-road Class A campaigns in 2017, and both could be very successful this fall. Montezuma fought through low numbers (the Braves forfeited a game in Week 2) to finish 4-4, and Southeast Warren closed with four straight losses to finish 4-5. Monte’s Jaedon Probasco was second on the team in rushing, third in tackles last year. The Warhawks bring back a lot of seniors.
Twin Cedars at English Valleys
Site and time: 7 p.m., at North English
Last year’s records: Twin Cedars was 4-5; English Valleys was 2-8.
Overview: English Valleys started 2-1 last season before dropping its last seven games. One of the Bears’ two wins came in dramatic fashion, 48-46 in overtime over Twin Cedars. There’s much potential for growth for the Bears, who return a good portion of their roster, including Cooper Andreassen (713 rushing yards, 102 tackles). As a sophomore, QB Cael Hester passed for 10 touchdowns and ran for nine.
Iowa Valley at Collins-Maxwell
Site and time: 7 p.m., at Maxwell
Last year’s records: Iowa Valley was 6-3; Collins-Maxwell was 0-9.
Overview: After narrowly missing the playoffs last year, Iowa Valley returns most of its horses for 2018, including Garet Sims (1,314 yards, 25 touchdowns) and quarterback Ben Smith (939 yards passing, 12 TDs). The Tigers welcome back most of their defensive stars as well, led by Breven Platt (53.5 tackles). Collins-Maxwell had a rough first season back on its own last year, getting outscored by a 572-20 margin.
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Winfield-Mount Union at Springville
Site and time: 7 p.m., at Springville
Last year’s records: Winfield-Mount Union was 0-9; Springville was 3-7.
Overview: Springville will try to regain some momentum after a down year last season, and has the potential for an upper-division finish in District 3. Quarterback Kyle Koppes threw for 1,062 yards last year as a sophomore, with Zach March catching 42 passes for 604 yards and nine TDs. WMU slides down a class into the 8-player game after managing just 25 points in 2017.
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