Prep Football

Iowa high school football Week 3 preview: A closer look at 12 area games

A pair of Thursday games, then Kennedy hosts No. 1 Valley on Friday

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Cairron Hendred (21) rushes the ball during a football game at Linn-Mar High School in Marion on Friday, Sep. 6, 2019. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Cairron Hendred (21) rushes the ball during a football game at Linn-Mar High School in Marion on Friday, Sep. 6, 2019. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
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Week 3 capsules for Cedar Rapids Metro and Iowa City high school football games, and top Gazette area games.

Linn-Mar at Cedar Rapids Jefferson

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 1-1.

Overview: If you buy into the common-opponent theory, then you have to favor Jefferson. The J-Hawks hung with Cedar Rapids Kennedy admirably in Week 1 before falling, 21-10. Last week, Linn-Mar scored first on the Cougars, then gave up 25 second-period points in a 46-7 loss. Jefferson squared its record last week with a 23-6 win over Muscatine, and the J-Hawks’ 13.5-point defensive average ranks as 12th best in 4A. Jacob Cross already has kicked four field goals for Jefferson, including three last week. Linn-Mar QB Marcus Orr was injured in the second half against Kennedy, and his availability is key.

Live updates: @kjpilcher

 
 

Cedar Rapids Xavier at Davenport Assumption

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-0. Xavier is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, Assumption is tied for No. 10.

Overview: Xavier has extended its winning streak to 28 games (longest active string in the state) with a pair of convincing wins against Iowa City Regina and Decorah (combined margin of 71-7), and the Saints have another good challenge in front of them Thursday. Assumption probably has its best team since it moved down to Class 3A behind running back Tyler Kulhanek, who has rushed for 328 yards (10.9 per carry) and four touchdowns in the first two weeks. The Knights have handled their first two opponents — Rock Island Alleman (Ill.) and Dubuque Wahlert — by a combined 84-7. Xavier QB Tyler Dupont has passed for two TDs and run for four.

Live updates: @jeje66

 
 

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West Des Moines Valley at Cedar Rapids Kennedy

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-0. Valley is ranked No. 1 in Class 4A; Kennedy is No. 8.

Overview: How good is Kennedy, exactly? We’ll have a better idea Friday night when the Cougars measure themselves against a Valley squad that rallied from an early 14-2 deficit to knock off six-time defending 4A state champion West Des Moines Dowling, 29-22, last week. Creighton Mitchell scored a 9-yard touchdown for the go-ahead tally. Kennedy surrendered an opening-drive touchdown last week against Linn-Mar, then yielded just 48 yards the rest of the way in a 46-7 romp. The Cougars are allowing 8.5 points per game, a rate that ranks sixth-best in 4A. Cairron Hendred and Max White have combined for more than 400 rushing yards and eight TDs in two weeks.

Live updates: @kjpilcher

Washington (Iowa) at Iowa City Liberty

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-0. Liberty is ranked No. 9 in Class 3A; Washington is tied for 10th.

Overview: Both teams have opened eyes in the first two weeks. Liberty earned its first win over an Iowa City rival in school history by beating City High in Week 1. Washington, meanwhile, has been surprisingly dominant on its way to a 2-0 start and included a 62-12 whipping of Oskaloosa last week. Demons QB Luke Turner is one of the top run/pass signal-callers in 3A; he has rushed for 208 yards, passed for 360 and has collected a combined eight touchdowns. Liberty junior Max Tafolla is third in 3A rushing with 285 yards (8.1 per carry), including two touchdowns.

Live updates: @jeje66

 
 

Cedar Rapids Prairie at Waukee

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

Records and rankings: Class 4A No. 9 Prairie is 2-0; Waukee is 0-2.

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Overview: Don’t be misled by Waukee’s record. The Warriors’ two defeats were nail-biters against two of the best from Central Iowa — 21-17 against Dowling, 38-35 against Southeast Polk. Prairie has become a stout defensive unit, allowing a single touchdown in each of its first two games. After bowling over Cedar Rapids Washington in Week 1, the Hawks had to grind out a 13-7 win over Pleasant Valley last week, with Nick Pearson darting 26 yards for a touchdown after the Spartans had taken a brief 7-6 lead. The Hawks forced three fumbles.

Solon at Marion

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

Records and rankings: Class 3A No. 4 Solon is 2-0; Marion is 0-2.

Overview: Solon has been dominant on both sides of the ball in a pair of wins, and the Spartans have pushed their regular-season win streak to 27. That includes a 48-7 smacking of West Liberty last week in which the Spartans led 28-0 at halftime. Cam Miller passed for 245 yards, including three passes for 111 yards to A.J. Coons. Marion looks to get things going after dropping its first two games against Washington (Iowa) and West Delaware. The Indians managed just 123 yards against West Delaware, just 14 yards on 25 rushing attempts.

Live updates: @mikecondon

 
 

Iowa City West at Southeast Polk

Site and time: 7:15 p.m., at Pleasant Hill

Records and rankings: West is 0-2; Class 4A No. 10 Southeast Polk is 1-1.

Overview: According to the BC Moore computer, West has faced the third-toughest schedule in 4A. The Trojans have managed just 21 points in the their two losses (to North Scott and Bettendorf), and the sledding doesn’t get any easier Friday. West QB Marcus Morgan has passed for 342 yards, completing 22 of 43 passes. Southeast Polk won a shootout last week, 38-35 over Waukee. Rams quarterback Jaxon Dailey has passed for 407 yards and four TDs.

Cedar Rapids Washington at Dubuque Senior

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

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

OverviewAfter a pair of lopsided losses (by a combined 103-21) to open the season, Washington hopes to make some good things happen and gain some momentum this week. Harry Clymer has been efficient at quarterback (44 of 69, 331 yards), and now the Warriors try to get more points out of their attack. Senior bounced back with a 28-15 win last week over Davenport North, a week after a tough 27-20 loss to Linn-Mar. Rams QB Tommy Casey will test the Warriors in the air; he is second in 4A in passing yards (464). Kendrick Watkins-Hogue is tops in 4A in receiving yards (274, on 11 receptions).

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Iowa City Regina at Pella Christian

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

Records and rankings: Regina is 1-1; Pella Christian is 0-2.

Overview: You can’t get much better than Regina quarterback Ashton Cook was in last week’s 56-25 win over Anamosa. Cook completed 20 of 21 passes for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Cook has surged to fourth in the 1A passing derby with 456 yards, with Alec Wick (13 catches, 180 yards) his top receiver. Both teams are playing an ambitious non-district schedule. Pella Christian is seeking its first win after suffering losses to Oskaloosa and Van Meter.

Iowa City High at Ames

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 0-2.

Overview: The high-school version of the Cy-Hawk game features two teams trying to gain some footing. City High has dropped seven straight games and is coming off a 52-7 drubbing against Cedar Falls in which the Little Hawks were outscored 45-0 in the final three quarters. Ames has been outscored 81-10 by Cedar Falls and Fort Dodge. The Little Cyclones won last year’s encounter, 35-0.

Independence at Maquoketa

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-0. Independence is ranked No. 7 in Class 3A.

Overview: This is a tale of two programs on the upswing. Three years ago, Independence was 0-9, but has steadily improved to 4-6, then 6-3. Hopes are high for much more this fall for the Mustangs, and they have delivered thus far. Logan Schmidt has accounted for 377 passing yards and 211 rushing, with nine total touchdowns already. Maquoketa is 2-0 for the first time since 2012 and already has matched its win total from its previous three seasons combined (2-25) with convincing triumphs over Anamosa and DeWitt Central.

East Buchanan at Edgewood-Colesburg

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-0. Ed-Co is ranked No. 4 in Class A.

Overview: Just like last year, Ed-Co has ridden a stingy defense to success. The Vikings have allowed one touchdown in two games, including a 40-0 shutout of Starmont last week. East Buchanan is in a loaded District 7 that houses four unbeatens plus defending state champion Hudson. We’ll learn a lot about the Buccaneers in the next three weeks. After Friday’s showdown, they’ll face district foes Grundy Center and North Tama. The days of a ground-only attack are over; T.J. Lau has passed 39 times in two games (for 248 yards), and that has complemented a rushing attack led by Cole Bowden (236 yards, four TDs).

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

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