Prep Football

Iowa high school football Week 6: A closer look at 12 area games

Linn-Mar visits Iowa City West in a game Friday that could decide the 4A District 4 champion

Linn-Mar's Marcus Orr (15) hands the ball off to Bricen White (28) during a game against Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Linn-Mar High School in Marion on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
Linn-Mar's Marcus Orr (15) hands the ball off to Bricen White (28) during a game against Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Linn-Mar High School in Marion on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
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Week 6 capsules for top Cedar Rapids/Marion, Iowa City and area high school football games:

Cedar Falls at Cedar Rapids Jefferson

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

Records and rankings: Second-ranked Cedar Falls is 5-0 overall, 1-0 Class 4A District 3; Jefferson is 3-2, 1-0.

Overview: Cedar Falls has won 20 consecutive regular season games, but No. 20 came with some unexpected drama. The Tigers needed a goal-line stand to hold off Dubuque Hempstead, 21-17. Actually, Cedar Falls’ last three wins have combined by a combined eight points, yet the Tigers are still the 4A-3 favorite behind quarterback Cael Loecher (878 passing yards, nine touchdowns). Jefferson is no pushover. The J-Hawks have earned two straight wins, including a 31-21 victory at Waterloo West last week. Jacob Thompson (40.5 tackles) and Josiah Szabo (35) are cornerstones of a J-Hawks defense that allows 13.8 points per game. Only four 4A teams allow fewer.

 
 

Iowa City High at Davenport North

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

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

Overview: City High opened district action with a 10-7 win over Muscatine, building a 10-0 halftime lead and hanging on. You can label the Little Hawks as district contenders if they pull off another win Thursday and get to 2-0. Tonka Hickman ran for 103 yards and a touchdown last week, sending his season total to 560 yards. North suffered a 30-7 loss at Linn-Mar, surrendering 305 passing yards. North QB Jack West already has passed the 1,000-yard passing mark, but has thrown more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (seven). Priest Sheedy has 29 catches for 317 yards.

Iowa City Liberty at North Scott

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

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Records and rankings: Both teams are 4-1 overall, 1-0 Class 3A District 5. North Scott is ranked No. 6.

Overview: Down 21-14 at halftime, Liberty rallied to score a pair of second-half touchdowns to come away with an important district victory last week over Clear Creek Amana. They face an even bigger test this week, and a win would put the Lightning in a position to capture a district title in the school’s second year of existence. Max Tafolla ran for 146 yards against CCA, pushing his season total to 624. North Scott’s lone setback this came in Week 4 against No. 1 Western Dubuque, 21-3. The Lancers were impressive in rebounding last week, 42-21 over DeWitt Central.

 
 

Iowa City Regina at South Hardin

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 4-1 overall, 1-0 Class 1A District 6.

Overview: Behind the passing duo of Ashton Cook and Alec Wick, Regina’s offense has been humming during a four-game winning streak. The Regals have posted 56, 45, 42 and 42 points. Cook is No. 2 in 1A in passing yards (1,251) and has tossed 14 touchdown passes against one interception. Wick leads the class in catches (44) and is second in receiving yards (656), with nine TDs). South Hardin has won three straight by a 141-14 margin, and should have Regina’s attention after dropping a close game to the Regals last year, 22-19.

 
 

Cedar Rapids Xavier at Dubuque Wahlert

Site and time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Dubuque (Rock Bowl)

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

Overview: We’re one week away from a likely 1-vs.-2 showdown between the Saints and Western Dubuque, but first things first. Xavier won its 31st straight game last week, thumping Maquoketa, 52-20, behind a school-record offensive night of 619 total yards (287 rushing, 332 passing). Xavier will be a heavy favorite against Wahlert, which suffered a 40-7 loss to Western Dubuque last week. Wahlert’s Bryce Anstoetter ranks third in 3A with 49 tackles. Saints QB Tyler Dupont has completed 62 percent of his passes for 934 yards and 10 TDs.

 
 

Dubuque Hempstead at Cedar Rapids Prairie

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

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Records and rankings: Hempstead is 2-3 overall, 0-1 Class 4A District 3; Prairie is 3-2, 1-0.

Overview: Hempstead very nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season, falling just short at No. 2 Cedar Falls last week, 21-17. Aidan Dunne passed for 258 yards, including 128 to KeShaun Hill. Prairie won a 43-40 shootout at Dubuque Senior behind 355 yards and four touchdowns from Nick Pearson. That pushes Pearson’s season total to 929 yards and 10 TDs. After giving up a mere touchdown in both of its first two games, the Hawks have surrendered a total of 118 points in their last three contests.

 
 

Linn-Mar at Iowa City West

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

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

Overview: It’s not a stretch to proclaim the winner of this game as the frontrunner of the 4A-4 title chase. West earned its first win of the season last week, 24-7, at Pleasant Valley behind a 16-of-19, 195-yard passing performance by Marcus Morgan. That put him above 1,000 yards for the season. Meanwhile, Linn-Mar quarterback Marcus Orr made a grand return (he missed two weeks with injury) in a 30-7 victory over Davenport North. Orr passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with seven different receivers.

 
 

Cedar Rapids Washington vs. Cedar Rapids Kennedy

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

Records and rankings: Washington is 0-5 overall, 0-1 Class 4A District 5; seventh-ranked Kennedy is 4-1, 1-0.

Overview: Kennedy spread the wealth in a 64-0 blasting of Davenport West last week, with seven different players finding the end zone. That includes Max White, who scored three touchdowns (and passed for another). Cade Parker is second in 4A in tackles, with 42.5, and Cairron Hendred is fourth in rushing, with 727 yards (9.3 per carry) and 10 touchdowns. Washington has been bitten by a tough schedule (its first five opponents are a combined 15-10) and an offense that is scoring just 8.4 points per game. Kennedy is favored to send the Warriors to 0-6, but Washington’s last three games are winnable.

 
 

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North Tama at Grundy Center

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 5-0 overall, 3-0 Class A District 7. North Tama is ranked third; Grundy Center is No. 6.

Overview: Every week, it seems, there’s a top-10 matchup in this district. And this one features a pair of unbeatens as we head into the back half of the season. Both teams thrive on defense; Grundy Center is tops in Class A in points allowed (3.6 per game) and North Tama is No. 2 (3.8). The Redhawks weaved through two straight nailbiters before enjoying a bit less stress last week in a 27-6 win over East Buchanan as Noah Weber rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns. Grundy has posted three straight shutouts, including a 55-0 blanking of Garwin GMG last week.

Solon at Washington

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

Records and rankings: No. 4-ranked Solon is 5-0 overall, 1-0 Class 3A District 6; No. 8 Washington is 4-1, 1-0.

Overview: Both teams are unbeaten on the field (Washington’s Week 4 win over West Liberty was overturned because of an ineligible player), and Friday’s victor holds the key to the 3A-6 title. Other than a come-from-behind win over Davenport Assumption in Week 3, Solon has been dominant. Cam Miller (1,080 passing yards, 12 TDs) leads a potent attack that also features receiver A.J. Coons (24 catches for 512 yards). Washington QB Luke Turner has been responsible for 21 touchdowns (nine passing, 12 rushing) and 1,484 total yards.

 
 

West Branch at North Cedar

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

Records and rankings: Fourth-ranked West Branch is 5-0 overall, 1-0 Class 1A District 4; North Cedar is 4-1, 1-0.

Overview: North Cedar has been a pleasant surprise in Adam Hadenfeldt’s fourth year at the helm. After three consecutive 1-8 seasons and a 34-0 loss to Tipton in Week 1, the Knights have rattled off four consecutive wins, including an 8-7 victory at Cascade last week. But the competition level rises swiftly this week. The Bears exhibit a strong balanced attack led by quarterback Gavin Hierseman (868 passing yards, 11 touchdowns) and RB Tanner Lukavsky (472 rushing yards). Ethan Sahr has thrown for 887 yards and eight TDs for the Knights.

Benton Community at Nevada

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

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Records and rankings: No. 6 Benton is 5-0 overall, 1-0 Class 2A District 7; Nevada is 4-1, 1-0.

Overview: Benton has ridden the most prolific passing attack in 2A to a 5-0 start. Clay Krousie has completed more than 63 percent of his passes for 1,318 yards and 16 touchdowns (against only one interception). Jacob Brecht, Turner Schroeder and Blake Osborn all rank in the top 18 in 2A in receiving yards. This is Benton’s toughest test to date (the Bobcats’ first five opponents are a combined 4-21). The Cubs rallied from a 21-0 deficit to trip Vinton-Shellsburg last week, 28-27, and are led by Caden Jones (555 rushing yards, eight TDs).

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

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