Prep Football

Week 5 Eastern Iowa high school football preview

Unbeatens collide Friday at Bellevue, Riverside and Central City

West Branch's Tanner Lukavsky (32) dives for the goal line for a touchdown in the Bears' 56-13 win over Tipton last week. Now ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, the Bears play at No. 6 Bellevue in a battle of unbeatens Friday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
West Branch's Tanner Lukavsky (32) dives for the goal line for a touchdown in the Bears' 56-13 win over Tipton last week. Now ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, the Bears play at No. 6 Bellevue in a battle of unbeatens Friday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Week 5 capsules for Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Metro and select area football games:

Waterloo West at Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Thursday, at Kingston Stadium.

Records and rankings: West is 3-1 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 3; Jefferson is 0-4, 0-0.

Overview: West enters district play with its collective eye on the playoffs while the J-Hawks are merely trying to muster a victory. Jefferson is allowing 40 points per game, and must shore that up to turn things around. It’s a young defense; the top three tacklers are juniors, led by Jacob Thompson (30.5). West QB Carter Maske has passed for 555 yards, with Tanner Pollock averaging 24.7 yards per catch.

Linn-Mar at Davenport North

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Thursday, at Davenport (Brady Street Stadium).

Records and rankings: Linn-Mar is 1-3 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 4; North is 3-1, 0-0.

Overview: Linn-Mar suffered its second one-point loss this season, 17-16 last week at home to Urbandale, and those two heartbreakers may come back to haunt the Lions at the end of the season. Still, it’s progress from last year’s 2-7 campaign, and three winnable games remain, including this one, which figures to be low-scoring. Marcus Orr has passed for 658 yards to a balanced Linn-Mar receiving corps.

Iowa City Liberty at Clear Creek Amana

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Tiffin.

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Records and rankings: Liberty is 2-2 overall, 0-0 Class 3A District 5; CCA is 4-0, 0-0.

Overview: These border schools will be district rivals for two years before Liberty makes the move to 4A in 2020. CCA stayed perfect by edging Marion, 17-15, last week. The Clippers have been buoyed by a defense that allowed just 22 points through four weeks. J.J. Denny has 24 tackles while Zach Kabbage has two interceptions. Liberty got back to .500 with a 27-22 win over Mid-Prairie last week.

Cedar Rapids Washington at Bettendorf

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Bettendorf.

Records and rankings: Washington is 2-2 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 5; No. 5 Bettendorf is 3-1, 0-0.

Overview: It appeared the Warriors were spiraling into oblivion after a 55-10 loss to Dubuque Hempstead left them at 0-2. But they have bounced back nicely with wins over Dubuque Senior and Cedar Rapids Jefferson, and look to compete against a Bettendorf squad coming off a 29-23 loss last week to Cedar Falls. Each of the Bulldogs’ last three games have been determined by eight points or less. Bettendorf’s Carter Bell has rushed for 443 yards.

Iowa City High at Muscatine

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Muscatine.

Records and rankings: City High is 2-2 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 4; Muscatine is 3-1, 0-0.

Overview: Back-to-back shutout losses had the Little Hawks reeling, but they responded with a 23-22 victory over Dubuque Hempstead last week to get back to the break-even mark. That moved City to No. 16 on the 4A RPI chart, and a win Friday would allow the Little Hawks to climb further. Tonka Hickman has rushed for 378 yards. Muscatine opened 3-0 against teams with a current combined mark of 2-10, then fell to Johnston, 42-7, last week.

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Cedar Rapids Xavier at Maquoketa

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Maquoketa.

Records and rankings: Top-ranked Xavier is 4-0 overall, 0-0 Class 3A District 4; Maquoketa is 0-4, 0-0.

Overview: Xavier has destroyed everything in its path thus far, and this one has the potential to get lopsided quickly. Xavier has played strong competition thus far and has thrashed it by the margin of 182-22. Braden Stovie has racked up 542 yards (10.4 per carry), and QB Quinn Schulte has accumulated 707 total yards and 17 touchdowns. That bodes well against a Cardinals club that has allowed 40 points per game.

Dubuque Senior at Cedar Rapids Prairie

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at John Wall Field.

Records and rankings: Senior is 1-3 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 3; No. 10 Prairie is 3-1, 0-0.

Overview: Prairie RB Keegan Simmons is likely to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season Friday; he currently stands at 851 yards on 111 carries and nine touchdowns. The Hawks appear to be on a collision course with Cedar Falls for the district title in Week 9. Senior has dropped three in a row and has been offensively challenged at times, managing just 28 points in four weeks, so it will be difficult for the Rams to keep up with Simmons and the explosive Hawks.

 

 

Marion at Center Point-Urbana

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Center Point.

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Records and rankings: Marion is 1-3 overall, 0-0 Class 3A District 4; CPU is 3-1, 0-0.

Overview: Center Point-Urbana knocked Independence from the list of unbeatens with a 34-14 verdict last week, a very nice bounceback after falling to Benton Community the prior week. Marion, on the other hand, has its back against the wall in its quest to make the playoffs. The Indians lost a toughie last week, 17-15 to Clear Creek Amana, and hope to get QB Trevor Paulsen back soon. CPU’s Max Chesmore has intercepted three passes.

Pleasant Valley at Iowa City West

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at West.

Records and rankings: Pleasant Valley is 1-3 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 4; No. 7 West is 3-1, 0-0.

Overview: Despite Pleasant Valley’s 1-3 mark, this figures to be West’s biggest hurdle in its pursuit of the 4A-4 title. Quarterbacks Joey Kuehn and Marcus Morgan have combined to pass for 840 yards, with Jalen Gaudet the big-play receiver with 15 catches for a 29-yard average (and five touchdowns). West’s defense has been stiff, allowing 12 points per game. Pleasant Valley’s three losses have come against teams with a combined 9-3 record.

 

 

Davenport West at Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium.

Records and rankings: West is 1-3 overall, 0-0 Class 4A District 5; Kennedy is 2-2, 0-0.

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Overview: Back-to-back losses to West Des Moines Valley and Cedar Rapids Prairie have removed much of Kennedy’s margin for error, particularly with Bettendorf looming in Week 7. The Cougars are favored to bounce back against a West outfit that has dropped three in a row, managing just 32 points in that span. Cairron Hendred has rushed for 375 yards and six touchdowns while Cade Parker paces the defense with 41.5 tackles, which ranks third in 4A.

 

 

East Marshall at Iowa City Regina

Site and time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Regina.

Records and rankings: East Marshall is 0-4 overall, 0-0 Class 1A District 6; Regina is 1-3, 0-0.

Overview: Despite a decade of vast success, Regina probably is at a point in which it must run the table and win its district in order to return to the playoffs. The Regals’ early schedule didn’t help as much as had been hoped in terms of RPI (the first four opponents are 8-8). The Regals are heavily favored in their next two games, then has big challenges in Week 7 (North Linn) and Week 9 (Dike-New Hartford). East Marshall hasn’t scored since Week 1.

West Branch at Bellevue

Site and time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Bellevue.

Records and rankings: Both teams are 4-0 overall, 0-0 Class 1A District 4. West Branch is ranked No. 1, Bellevue No. 6.

Overview: Now that Butch Pedersen’s 300th win is past, West Branch focuses on a new task, and Bellevue provides a stiff challenge. Hunter Clasen is the top rusher in 1A with 762 yards (he averages 10.3 per carry) with 14 touchdowns. The Bears counter with an aerial attack led by Beau Cornwell, who has completed 68 percent of his passes for 851 yards, with 10 TDs and no interceptions.

BGM at Highland

Site and time: 7 p.m. Friday, at Riverside.

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Records and rankings: Both teams are 4-0 overall, 0-0 Class A District 6. Highland is ranked 10th.

Overview: The six teams in A-6 are a combined 20-4, and a pecking order will begin to take shape this week. Highland’s Trey Lasek has rushed for 479 yards and six touchdowns, while BGM counters with the junior tandem of Noah Beck (386 yards, 10.4 per carry, 8 TDs) and Dawson Owens (293 yards). Lasek also has intercepted three passes. BGM has blanked its last three foes and has outscored its four opponents, 190-24.

Turkey Valley at Central City

Site and time: 7 p.m. Friday, at Central City.

Records and rankings: Both teams are 4-0 overall, 2-0 8-Player District 3. Turkey Valley is ranked No. 9.

Overview: Central City is 4-0 for the first time since its 8-player debut season of 2008, but the sledding gets a lot tougher this week. Trey Holub (548 rushing yards, 8 TDs) has rushed for 21.9 yards per carry, and also has three interceptions and three fumble recoveries on defense. Turkey Valley’s four wins have come against better competition, including 54-7 last week over Springville. Ethan Leibold has thrown for 534 yards, with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

 

 

West Delaware at Independence

Site and time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Independence.

Records and rankings: Both teams are 3-1 overall, 0-0 Class 3A District 3.

Overview: The Highway 20 rivalry features two teams looking to rebound after Week 4 losses. West Delaware has lost on the field two consecutive weeks, but was awarded a Week 3 victory via forfeit against Mount Vernon. The Hawks were soundly beaten, 45-12, last week by Cedar Rapids Xavier while Independence suffered a 34-14 loss to Center Point-Urbana. WD’s Caleb Kehrli ranks fourth among 3A rushers with 640 yards.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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