Prep Football

Iowa high school football Week 7: A closer look at 12 area games

Key contests include Xavier-Western Dubuque, Bettendorf-Kennedy and Waukon-Columbus

Cedar Rapids Kennedy players run to their fans after winning at Cedar Rapids Prairie on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Kennedy players run to their fans after winning at Cedar Rapids Prairie on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
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Week 7 capsules for top Cedar Rapids/Marion, Iowa City and area high school football games:

Clear Creek Amana at Davenport Assumption

Site and time: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at Davenport (Brady Street Stadium)

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

Overview: Clear Creek Amana probably needs to win its last three games to make the playoffs, and Thursday’s encounter will be a test for the Clippers’ offense. Assumption allows just 10.3 points per game. Quarterback Ryan Navara pilots the Clippers’ attack; he completed 9 of 11 attempts for 202 yards in the Clippers’ 43-0 rout of Clinton last week. Assumption won its first two games, lost its next two, then followed with two straight wins, including an overtime triumph over DeWitt Central last week. Knights quarterback Ryan Kulhanek has passed for 576 yards, rushed for 488 and accounted for 12 touchdowns.

 
 

Cedar Rapids Xavier at Western Dubuque

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 6-0 overall, 2-0 Class 3A District 4. Western Dubuque is top-ranked; Xavier is No. 2.

Overview: One of the most highly awaited games of the regular season in any class in the state this year. It’s a rematch of last year’s 3A state final, won by Xavier, 34-20. The Saints have kept rolling this season and enter with a 32-game winning streak. Western Dubuque entered the season as the top-ranked team in 3A, and the Bobcats have done nothing to lose that label. Both teams sport similar numbers, with the Bobcats scoring 35.8 points per game and allowing 6.5 and the Saints at 35.0 and 7.7, respectively. Western Dubuque QB Calvin Harris leads 3A in pass efficiency, completing about 70 percent of his passes for 1,202 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception.

 
 

Bettendorf at Cedar Rapids Kennedy

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

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Records and rankings: Both teams are 5-1 overall, 2-0 Class 4A District 5. Bettendorf is ranked No. 5; Kennedy is No. 6.

Overview: Just call this the 4A District 5 championship game. There’s not much separation between the teams. Bettendorf is scoring 38.8 points per game and allowing 13.8 while Kennedy scores 37.0 and allows 14.5. Bettendorf’s lone blemish was a 35-32 loss to Cedar Falls and none of its wins have been close. Kennedy lost to No. 1 West Des Moines Valley, 28-14, in Week 3, and its only other close call was a 35-28 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie the following week. Bettendorf’s Harrison Bey-Buie is the top rusher in 4A with 1,101 yards (and 19 touchdowns). Kennedy’s Cairron Hendred is fifth with 908 yards and 12 TDs. Cade Parker (48 tackles) leads the Cougars’ defense.

Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Cedar Rapids Prairie

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

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

Overview: Prairie has prevailed in both of its first two district tests, but nothing about either of them has been simple. The Hawks outscored Dubuque Senior, 43-40, then outlasted Dubuque Hempstead, 28-27. This won’t be a cakewalk, either. At 3-3, Jefferson still owns playoff hopes, but probably will need to run the table to get there. Prairie can afford one more loss, but still faces Cedar Falls in Week 9. Prairie’s Nick Pearson has rushed for 948 yards (he is averaging 10.2 per carry), with 10 touchdowns.

 
 

Iowa City Liberty at DeWitt Central

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

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

Overview: Despite a 24-10 loss last week to North Scott, the first postseason berth in school history remains a possibility for Liberty. But, at No. 23 in the current 3A RPI list, the Lightning probably need to win all three of their remaining games. That includes a tough test next week at home against Davenport Assumption. But first things first. Central has lost three straight games, but two have been in overtime. Liberty’s Max Tafolla ranks among 3A rushers with 707 yards and five touchdowns.

Muscatine at Linn-Mar

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

Records and rankings: Muscatine is 1-5 overall, 0-2 Class 4A District 4; Linn-Mar is 4-2, 2-0.

Overview: Thanks to a big second half in a 28-12 win at Iowa City West last week, Linn-Mar has emerged as the 4A-4 frontrunner. Down 12-7 at halftime, the Lions got a pair of short rushing touchdowns and a long passing TD from quarterback Marcus Orr, who looks fully healthy now after missing 2 1/2 games with a shoulder injury. Orr has completed 63 percent of his passes for 881 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Will Zahradnik has 16 catches for 301 yards and six TDs. Muscatine is a competitive 1-5, with none of its losses by more than 17 points. That includes a 30-27 setback last week against Pleasant Valley.

 
 

Davenport North at Iowa City West

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

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

Overview: After last week’s loss to Linn-Mar, West is a postseason longshot. The Trojans need to win out and hope that enough dominoes fall to earn a district title. The next step this week won’t be an easy one, because North has grown into a competitive program that has its own postseason aspirations, and those hopes grew after a 43-19 win over Iowa City High last week. Two prolific quarterbacks here: Jack West for North (1,229 yards, eight touchdowns) and Marcus Morgan of West (1,224 and eight) rank 2-3 in 4A in passing yards.

Iowa City High at Pleasant Valley

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 2-4 overall, 1-1 Class 4A District 4.

Overview: Basically an elimination game in 4A-4. The winner still has its playoff destiny in its own hands, because both teams still face district-leading Linn-Mar. Pleasant Valley has been a feast-or-famine outfit, averaging 38.0 points per game in its wins, 5.0 in its losses. City High, meanwhile, is allowing 33.2 points per game to its opponents. City’s Tonka Hickman has rushed for 611 yards and eight scores.

North Linn at Iowa City Regina

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

Records and rankings: North Linn is 5-1 overall, 1-1 Class 1A District 6; No. 10 Regina is 5-1, 2-0.

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Overview: Life “under the radar” is rare for Regina, which has piled up championships and glory through the past decade, but after missing out on the playoffs in 2018, that’s where the Regals are at. After a season-opening loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier, the Regals have won five games in a row behind the pass-catch combo of Ashton Cook and Alec Wick, one of the most potent duos in 1A. Cook ranks second in the class in passing yards (1,403) while Wick is No. 1 in catches (50) and TDs (11). North Linn’s Austin Miller has passed for nine touchdowns and has run for seven. Miller also leads the Lynx with 29.5 tackles.

Waukon at Waterloo Columbus

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 6-0 overall, 2-0 Class 2A District 4. Waukon is ranked No. 1; Columbus is No. 5.

Overview: In addition to being a top-five matchup in terms of the Gazette/KGYM poll, it’s a battle between No. 1 and No. 2 in the first 2A RPI listing (Waukon is on top), so the winner likely will be the overall top seed when the 2A playoffs are released in less than three weeks. After a scare against Crestwood in Week 2, Waukon has rolled through the past four weeks behind quarterback Creed Welch (1,350 passing yards, 18 TDs, to eight different receivers). Four 11-player receivers have 10 touchdowns or more, and Columbus’ Ben Sinnott is one of them.

Solon at Mount Pleasant

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

Records and rankings: Fourth-ranked Solon is 6-0 overall, 2-0 Class 3A District 6; Mount Pleasant is 5-1, 2-0.

Overview: Mount Pleasant is the last serious hurdle that stands between Solon and a third consecutive 9-0 regular season. The Spartans have won 32 consecutive regular-season contests. Cam Miller has enjoyed a fruitful season in the pocket, passing for 1,201 yards and 15 touchdowns. A.J. Coons is the prime target, racking up 28 catches for 526 yards and six scores. Mount Pleasant’s Jack Johnson has rushed for 552 yards and seven TDs. The Panthers have won four straight games, all by 26 points or more.

 
 

Saint Ansgar at South Winneshiek

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

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Records and rankings: No. 2 Saint Ansgar is 6-0 overall, 3-0 Class A District 4; No. 9 South Winn is 5-1, 2-0.

Overview: In all reality, the winner will be the champion of the district. Saint Ansgar has been an all-out wrecking crew in the past four weeks, outscoring those foes by a 247-12 margin. Jack Sievert leads Class A in rushing touchdowns, with 22 (he has netted 1,085 yards). South Winn, meanwhile, relies on a passing game led by Jacob Herold (No. 1 in Class A with 1,836 yards and 17 touchdowns). Noah Tieskoetter (30 catches, 605 yards, 6 TDs) and Cael Kuboushek (46-581-4) are 1-2 in the class in receiving yards. The Warriors have won five straight since a season-opening loss to MFL MarMac.

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

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