Prep Football

Week 4 Eastern Iowa high school football preview

It kicks off Thursday with a pivotal Kingston battle between Prairie and Kennedy

Cedar Rapids Prairie's Keegan Simmons (1) tries to get around Waukee's Alex Lindquist (49) during the second quarter of their high school football game at John Wall Field in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Sep. 7, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Prairie's Keegan Simmons (1) tries to get around Waukee's Alex Lindquist (49) during the second quarter of their high school football game at John Wall Field in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Sep. 7, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Week 4 capsules for Metro/Iowa City and select area high school football games:

Cedar Rapids Prairie at Cedar Rapids Kennedy

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-1. Prairie is ranked No. 10 in Class 4A.

Overview: This is a pivotal game between two teams hoping to bounce back from convincing losses to Central Iowa powers. Kennedy absorbed a 42-0 loss at top-ranked West Des Moines Valley while Prairie fell 33-6 at home to Waukee. It’s still very early, but both teams are on the playoff bubble in the first 4A RPI list, with Kennedy 14th and Prairie 16th. Prairie’s Keegan Simmons is second among 4A rushers with 582 yards; he has seven rushing touchdowns. Kennedy counters with Cairron Hendred (376 rushing yards, five TDs).

Cedar Rapids Xavier at West Delaware

Site and time: 7:30 Friday, at Manchester

Records and rankings: Both teams are 3-0. Xavier is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.

Overview: A bit of luster appeared to fall off this matchup when West Delaware dropped a 35-33 decision to Mount Vernon last week on a long hook-and-ladder touchdown on the final play. But the result of the game was overturned Wednesday when Mount Vernon self-reported a player-eligibility infraction, giving the Hawks a win via forfeit. Xavier has been nothing short of masterful in the first three weeks, outscoring three fine opponents by a combined score of 137-10. Quinn Schulte has combined for 563 yards and 13 touchdowns, and Braden Stovie (377 rushing yards) is netting 10.8 yards per carry. West Delaware’s Caleb Kehrli is second statewide among 3A rushers with 589 yards (he has five touchdowns). The Hawks are potent, averaging 38 points per game, but their defense (25.3 ppg allowed) is a concern.

 

 

Clear Creek Amana at Marion

Site and time: 7:15 Friday, at Thomas Park Field

Records and rankings: Clear Creek Amana is 3-0; Marion is 1-2.

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Overview: Clear Creek Amana’s defense has been dynamite through the first one-third of the season. The Clippers have allowed just seven points through three games and are coming off back-to-back shutouts. It has been a balanced effort; J.J. Denny leads the charge with 17 tackles. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Andrew Rohret has combined for 655 yards of total offense and 10 touchdowns. Marion hopes to bounce back after back-to-back losses, including a 47-10 defeat to Solon last week. Connor Whalen has been a stalwart in all three phases of the game for the Indians.

 

 

Iowa City West at Dubuque Senior

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Dubuque (Dalzell Field)

Records and rankings: Class 4A No. 6 West is 2-1; Senior is 1-2.

Overview: West bounced back with a solid 31-17 win over Southeast Polk last week, and it appears the tough portion of the Trojans’ schedule is behind them. West should be a solid favorite in its final six games. The Trojans are allowing just 11.3 points per game, a figure that rates fifth-best in 4A. Quarterbacks Joey Kuehn and Marcus Morgan have combined to pass for more than 500 yards, and Jalen Gaudet has been an explosive receiver, averaging 31.4 yards per catch. Senior has been involved in three low-scoring games, including a 10-0 loss to Cedar Rapids Washington last week.

Urbandale at Linn-Mar

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Linn-Mar Stadium

Records and rankings: Both teams are 1-2.

Overview: Linn-Mar jumped into the win column last week, 33-14 over Cedar Rapids Jefferson, giving Coach Paul James his 100th career victory. The Lions scored the final 19 points of the game and pulled away. After completing 44 percent of his passes in the first two weeks, Marcus Orr hit for 14 of 19, racking up 286 yards. Urbandale has faced one of the toughest early slates in the state; the J-Hawks’ first three opponents are 7-2. Harrison Waylee has accumulated 529 rushing yards (fourth in 4A) and 11.5 per carry. Urbandale is allowing 36 points per contest.

Dubuque Hempstead at Iowa City High

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 1-2.

Overview: The last two weeks have not been kind to City High, which has suffered 47-0 and 35-0 losses to Cedar Falls and Ames, but the schedule eases up a bit. Tonka Hickman has rushed for 320 yards and averages 5.8 yards per carry, but the Little Hawks need more efficiency out of a passing game that has suffered through 23 percent accuracy. Hempstead gave No. 3 Bettendorf a tussle last week before falling, 29-21, and that came a week after blistering Cedar Rapids Washington. Tanner Meyer already has 18 catches, fourth most in 4A.

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Cedar Rapids Washington vs. Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium (Jefferson is designated as the home team, and its fans will sit on the west side)

Records and rankings: Washington is 1-2; Jefferson is 0-3.

Overview: A week after suffering a 55-10 drubbing at the hands of Dubuque Hempstead, Washington showed some resolve and blanked Dubuque Senior, 10-0, for its first win. Still, the Warriors have been missing offensive punch, averaging just 8.7 points per game. Jefferson faces its own issues; the J-Hawks were penalized 18 times for 134 yards in a 33-14 loss at Linn-Mar last week. The J-Hawks have allowed 33 points or more in each of their first three games.

 

 

Mid-Prairie at Iowa City Liberty

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

Records and rankings: Mid-Prairie is 0-3; Liberty is 1-2.

Overview: After winning its home debut two weeks ago, Liberty returns to its own turf and tries to get back to the .500 mark. The junior-laden team has been led offensively by Jack Ankenbauer, who has rushed for 229 yards and four touchdowns. Mid-Prairie’s early struggles thus far have come primarily on offense; the Golden Hawks have scored just 25 points in three games. Grant Boyse has 21.5 tackles and an interception.

Iowa City Regina at Williamsburg

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

Records and rankings: Regina is 1-2; Williamsburg is 0-3.

Overview: Regina has fallen out of the Gazette/KGYM rankings for the first time since their inception, and both teams — particularly Williamsburg — are probably in a position in which they must win their district to make the postseason. Williamsburg running back Gage Hazen-Fabor has rushed for a lot of yards (502), but has only been in the end zone twice. Regina suffered a heartbreaker last week, 24-21 to Pella Christian. According to BC Moore, both teams have faced the toughest opening schedule in their respective classes.

Tipton at West Branch

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

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Records and rankings: Both teams are 3-0. West Branch is ranked No. 2 in Class 1A.

Overview: West Branch Coach Butch Pedersen is a win away from joining an exclusive club. Only 12 coaches in state history have won 300 games, and Pedersen stands at 299-74 in 35-plus seasons. Quarterback Beau Cornwell has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 612 yards, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. This is by far Tipton’s toughest test thus far; the Tigers’ first three opponents are a combined 1-8. Tipton has started 3-0 behind a run game that is averaging 329 yards per game and 6.3 per carry. Logan Stolte leads the way with 321 yards and seven TDs.

 

 

Benton Community at Wilton

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 3-0. Benton is ranked No. 4 in Class 2A; Wilton is No. 5 in 1A.

Overview: After each passing week, Benton looks more and more legit. Ran, pass, defend ... the Bobcats have done all of it very well so far. Clay Krousie leads the passing game, completing 72 percent of his passes for 570 yards and a 5-to-0 TD-to-INT rate. Matt Davis (59 carries, 448 yards, 8 TDs) has been a rushing workhorse, and the Bobcats are allowing 13 points per game with six takeaways in three games. Benton will be tested by a Wilton squad that has outscored its first three foes, 99-27, but those three foes are a combined 1-8. Collin McCrabb and Jerome Mays both average more than 100 rushing yards per game.

Independence at Center Point-Urbana

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

Records and rankings: Independence is 3-0; Center Point-Urbana is 2-1.

Overview: True, the opposition hasn’t resembled Murderer’s Row, but Independence’s attack has been something to behold. The Mustangs have eclipsed the 50-point mark in all three of their games behind the passing combination of Logan Schmitt (33 of 45, 621 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs) and Sean Geertsma (20 receptions, 345 yards, 3 TDs). Schmidt and Ethan Holt have combined for 542 rushing yards and 11 TDs. CPU suffered its first loss last week, 33-14, to Benton Community. The Stormin’ Pointers have forced opponents into eight turnovers.

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

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