Prep Football

Iowa high school football playoffs: Area quarterfinal preview

It's a Super 10 amount of games

Cedar Rapids Xavier's Quinn Schulte is tackled by Pella's Gabriel Thomas during a Class 3A first round playoff game at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids on Friday October 26, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Xavier's Quinn Schulte is tackled by Pella's Gabriel Thomas during a Class 3A first round playoff game at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids on Friday October 26, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

Capsules for select Cedar Rapids Metro/Iowa City and area quarterfinal football playoff games. All games start at 7 p.m.

Class 4A

No. 5 Bettendorf (9-1) at No. 5 Iowa City West (9-1)

First round: Bettendorf pulled away in the second half for a 31-14 victory over Pleasant Valley. West overcame three first-half turnovers to turn back Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 38-14.

Overview: These teams met in Week 2 of the regular season, with Bettendorf winning at home, 10-7. That was before Marcus Morgan assumed the full-time starting quarterback job for West. The sophomore has thrown for 1,629 yards and rushed for another 268, accounting for 15 total touchdowns. The Trojans had 10 different players carry the football against Kennedy and six players catch passes. Bettendorf quarterback Carter Bell has 1,877 combined passing and rushing yards and 19 TDs. Running back Austin Kalar has 18 rushing touchdowns. These teams played in last year’s 4A semifinals, with West winning, 23-0.

Class 3A

No. 10 Decorah (8-2) at No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier (10-0)

First round: Decorah outslugged Clear Creek-Amana, 17-6. Xavier had a late defensive stand to survive seventh-ranked Pella, 14-6.

Overview: Another rematch from Week 2 of the regular season. Defending state champion Xavier won that one at home, 45-3. Running back Braden Stovie had 198 yards rushing and has a team-high 1,050 this season. Quarterback Quinn Schulte has accounted for 2,008 yards rushing and passing this season and 39 touchdowns. Running back Drake Shelton leads Decorah with 1,197 yards and 11 TDs. The Vikings’ other loss was in Week 3 to Western Dubuque, 19-3.

No. 8 Western Dubuque (8-2) at No. 3 North Scott (9-1)

First round: Western Dubuque got up early on fourth-ranked Solon and rolled, 48-13. North Scott brushed past No. 9 Waverly-Shell Rock, 39-9.

Overview: And here we have yet another regular-season rematch. North Scott won at home in Week 4, 7-6. The Lancers held WD quarterback Calvin Harris to 8-of-21 passing for 29 yards and four interceptions. Western Dubuque limited North Scott quarterback Nile McLaughlin to just 98 total yards. McLaughlin has 2,019 yards passing and rushing this season and 22 touchdowns. Harris has 2,263 combined yards and 27 total TDs. Will this be another defensive battle?


Class 2A

Williamsburg (7-3) at No. 1 Monroe PCM (10-0)

First round: Williamsburg avenged a regular-season loss with a 51-32 win over ninth-ranked West Marshall. PCM dominated Carroll Kuemper, 49-0.

Overview: Williamsburg stunned PCM in the first round of last year’s 2A playoffs, 18-17. PCM’s closest game this season was a 29-6 win in Week 2 over West Marshall. Quarterback Reed Worth has had a monster season, with 2,587 yards passing and rushing and 36 touchdowns. Running back Wes Cummings has rushed for 1,243 yards and 21 TDs. Williamsburg has gotten virtually all of its yards via running back Gage Hazen-Fabor and QB Jordan Martin, who have a combined 3,914 yards and 47 touchdowns. The Raiders have rebounded from losing their first three games, albeit to playoff qualifiers West Marshall, Western Dubuque and West Branch.

No. 6 Algona (9-1) at No. 3 Waukon (9-1)

First round: Algona knocked off Crestwood, 45-20. Waukon ended Union Community’s season, 40-11.

Overview: Defending state champion Waukon has won nine games in a row since a season-opening loss to Class 3A quarterfinalist Decorah. Creed Welch has completed 62.2 percent of his 222 passes for 1,988 yards and 25 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. The Indians can run, too; Dawson Baures has totaled 1,074 yards and 18 scores on 125 carries. Baures is also the team's second-leading receiver, with 839 yards and nine TDs. Michael Sweeney has 61 catches for 863 yards and 10 touchdowns. Algona started 8-0 before a narrow 42-41 loss to Southeast Valley. Wyatt Wegener can beat you multiple ways, with 1,622 combined receiving and rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns. Matt Gein has thrown for 2,033 yards and 26 touchdowns and Jacob Durant is a 1,000-yard rusher (1,221 and 12 TDs).

West Liberty (7-3) at No. 4 Benton Community (9-1)

First round: West Liberty stopped No. 7 Chariton, 30-10. Benton Community also beat a ranked team, outscoring 10th-ranked Greene County, 46-20.

Overview: West Liberty lost three of its first four games (to West Branch, Solon and Washington) but is on a six-game winning streak in which its closest win has been by 18 points over Mount Vernon. The Comets have not allowed more than one touchdown in any of their past six games. Quarterback Seth Feldman has accounted for 30 of his team’s 37 TDs. Benton’s lone loss was to Union in Week 5, 34-6. The win over Greene County was the first in the playoffs since 1980 for the Bobcats. Running back Matt Davis went off for 262 yards rushing and three TDs.

Class 1A

No. 6 West Branch (9-1) at No. 3 Van Meter (10-0)

First round: West Branch made a trip of almost three hours a successful one, knocking off Osage, 56-14. Van Meter defeated Sumner-Fredericksburg, 42-16.

Overview: This playoff journey for West Branch has really been a journey. The Bears traveled over 2 1/2 hours for their first-round game against Osage and now embark on a trip that will clock in at a bit over two hours. Quarterback Beau Cornwell threw for 269 yards and three TDs against Osage, with running back Tanner Lukavsky adding 205 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 12 carries. Van Meter has reloaded after graduating several key players from last year’s 1A state championship team. The Bulldogs’ closest game was a 27-7 win over Pella Christian in Week 2. Running back Ian Abrahamson has rushed for 1,646 yards and 22 touchdowns.


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Class A

Highland (8-2) at No. 1 Hudson (10-0)

First round: Highland upset 10th-ranked Durant, 14-13. Hudson doubled up Lynnville-Sully, 44-22.

Overview: The win over Durant was the first ever in the playoffs for Highland. Highland-Lone Tree won four games as a combined squad. The Huskies turned around one of their regular-season losses by beating Durant. The other came to fellow Class A postseason qualifier BGM. Quarterback Trey Lasek has passed and run for 2,157 yards and 26 TDs. Hudson has had a few close games sprinkled into its season but survived them all, including a 3-point win over North Tama and a 4-pointer over Wapsie Valley. Running back Christian Seres has rushed for 1,532 yards and 24 touchdowns.

No. 5 Edgewood-Colesburg (9-1) at No. 2 Algona Garrigan (10-0)

First round: Ed-Co steamrolled past BGM, 58-21. Garrigan survived an upset bid by Wapsie Valley, 12-7.

Overview: Ed-Co dropped its season opener to 1A quarterfinalist Bellevue, 41-20, but has run off nine straight victories since that Aug. 24 game. Its second-ever playoff win came in large part to a mammoth performance from running back Preston Rochford, who had 401 yards rushing and five touchdowns. In his last five games, the fewest amount of yards he has run for is 157. Brad Capesius had three interceptions for Garrigan against Wapsie. He also is the Bears’ quarterback.


No. 6 New London (9-1) at No. 2 Iowa Valley (10-0)

First round: New London was an easy winner over Gladbrook-Reinbeck, 60-12. Iowa Valley simply outscored Midland, 92-46.

Overview: These teams played a weather-delayed game in early October, with Iowa Valley winning at home, 22-12. That is, by far, the fewest amount of points either team has scored in a game this season. Iowa Valley and New London average 58.4 and 58.0, which ranks third and fourth, respectively, in the state. Three IV runners have amassed at least 477 yards rushing this season, led by junior Ben Smith (1,113). Smith also has 909 yards passing. New London has had three guys rush for at least 611 yards this season, led by Keontae Luckett (1,102). This is NL’s first season playing 8-Player football.

Other Games


Southeast Polk (5-5) at No. 8 Johnson (8-2)

No. 4 West Des Moines Dowling (8-2) at No. 1 West Des Moines Valley (10-0)

No. 7 Waukee (8-2) at No. 3 Cedar Falls (10-0)


Spencer (8-2) at No. 5 Sergeant Bluff-Luton (9-1)

No. 10 Harlan (8-2) at No. 2 Council Bluffs Lewis Central (10-0)


No. 5 Southeast Valley (8-2) at No. 2 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (9-1)


No. 2 West Sioux (9-1) at No. 4 South Central Calhoun (10-0)

Pella Christian (7-3) at No. 5 Bellevue (10-0)

No. 1 Dike-New Hartford (10-0) at No. 7 Interstate 35 (10-0)


No. 6 West Hancock (8-2) at Akron-Westfield (8-2)

Mason City Newman (8-2) at No. 3 Avo-Ha/Shelby-Tennant/Walnut (10-0)


No. 5 Southeast Warren (11-0) at No. 1 Ar-We-Va (10-0)

No. 4 Fremont-Mills (9-1) at No. 7 Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton (9-1)

Rockford (9-1) at No. 3 Don Bosco (9-1)

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