Prep Football

Iowa high school football Week 7: A closer look at the top Cedar Rapids area games

Newly anointed 3A No. 1 Xavier seeks a 7-0 regular season at home vs. Benton Community

Cedar Rapids Xavier running back Jack Lux (36) carries against Western Dubuque in their game Aug. 28. The Class 3A top-r
Cedar Rapids Xavier running back Jack Lux (36) carries against Western Dubuque in their game Aug. 28. The Class 3A top-ranked Saints host Benton Community on Friday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Week 7 capsules for Cedar Rapids Metro, Iowa City and select Gazette area Iowa high school football games.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Iowa City West

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

Records and rankings: Kennedy is 2-2 overall, 1-1 MVC Valley Division; Class 4A No. 6 West is 3-0, 1-0.

Overview: After three weeks off, West made a grand return with a 35-23 win at Dubuque Senior last week. Marcus Morgan accounted for 301 yards (230 rushing, 71 passing) and five touchdowns, including one on an interception return. This has the potential to be a high-scoring affair; West averages 39.3 points per game, Kennedy 31.0. Cougars QB Max White has become the school record holder for career rushing touchdowns (he has 39, including 11 this season). White has rushed for 742 yards in just four games this season.

Benton Community at Cedar Rapids Xavier

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

Records and rankings: Benton is 3-3 overall, 2-2 Class 3A District 6; No. 1 Xavier is 6-0, 4-0.

OverviewXavier climbed to the top of the 3A poll with an impressive 44-20 triumph at Grinnell (it was 34-0 at halftime) last week behind Jaxon Rexroth’s four rushing touchdowns. Rexroth has run for 10 scores this season and has passed for 10 more as the Saints have averaged 37.7 points per game. After managing just nine points in its previous two games, Benton got things rolling last week in a 34-14 win over Newton. Jacob Brecht rushed for 125 yards and three TDs. Brecht has 30 receptions this season.

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Cedar Rapids Washington at Cedar Rapids Prairie

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

Records and rankings: Washington is 3-3 overall, 0-1 MVC Mississippi Division; Class 4A No. 9 Prairie is 3-2, 3-0.

Overview: Prairie has piled up 124 points in a three-game winning streak. Nick Pearson is climbing the 4A rushing chart; he’s at 767 yards and 13 touchdowns through five weeks, including a 179-yard, four-TD gem last week against Iowa City Liberty. Clayton Scott leads the Hawks’ defense with 31 tackles. After a 3-0 start, things have gone south for Washington, which has suffered three straight losses and has lost quarterback Henry Clymer to injury.

Iowa City Liberty at Iowa City High

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

Records and rankings: Both teams are 1-2 overall, 0-1 MVC Mississippi Division.

Overview: Both teams were back in action last week after a three-week hiatus, and both were gouged defensively in their returns. Liberty surrendered 531 yards, including 404 on the ground, in a 48-14 loss to Cedar Rapids Prairie. City High allowed 30 second-half points in a 50-36 defeat to Linn-Mar. It was the second straight game the Little Hawks have allowed 50-plus points. City quarterback Raph Hamilton has passed for 460 yards and rushed for 198.

Linn-Mar at Cedar Falls

Site and time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Cedar Falls (UNI-Dome)

Records and rankings: Linn-Mar is 1-3 overall, 1-1 MVC Mississippi Division; No. 10 Cedar Falls is 3-2, 1-1.

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Overview: Linn-Mar jumped into the win column last week, exploding for 30 second-half points in a 50-36 victory over Iowa City High. McKade Jelinek threw for 127 yards and four touchdowns, two to Jack Robertson. The Lions will try to slow a Cedar Falls attack led by Ryan Ostrich, who ranks second in 4A with 888 rushing yards. Ostrich averages 7.8 yards per carry and has scored eight touchdowns.

Marion at DeWitt Central

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

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

Overview: What’s at stake here? Well, quite possibly a home game in the first round of the 3A playoffs. Both teams are hovering around that top-32 spot, and a win might push one of them into home-field territory. It’s not out of the question that the Indians and the Sabers could meet in the first round. Don’t expect a ton of points in this one: Marion averages 16.4 points per game, Central 16.0. And the Sabers are allowing just 13.8 points per contest.

Dubuque Senior at Cedar Rapids Jefferson

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

Records and rankings: Senior is 3-3 overall, 1-2 MVC Valley Division; Jefferson is 0-6, 0-2.

Overview: Jefferson has suffered four consecutive one-sided losses (by a combined 214-49), and the J-Hawks face another big challenge this week. Senior’s Cain McWilliams has rushed for 779 yards, fifth-most in Class 4A. The Rams’ three losses have come to Cedar Falls, Dubuque Hempstead and Iowa City West, all by 12 points or less. Josiah Szabo has collected 34 tackles for the J-Hawks.

Highland at Iowa City Regina

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

Records and rankings: Highland is 1-4 overall, 1-3 Class A District 6; No. 1 Regina is 5-1, 4-0.

Overview: With a district title in its pocket, Regina can make a case for being one of the four teams in Class A to host through the quarterfinals if it takes down the Huskies. The Regals have been dynamic offensively since district play began, averaging 52 points per game. You can find Regina’s “big three” offensive weapons all over the Class A statistical leaderboard — Ashton Cook as a passer, Alex Wick as a receiver and Theo Kolie as a rusher. They figure to feast on a Highland defense that is allowing 38.6 points per game.

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Belle Plaine at Grundy Center

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

Records and rankings: Belle Plaine is 5-1 overall, 3-0 Class A District 7; No. 1 Grundy Center is 6-0, 4-0.

Overview: After a season-opening loss, Belle Plaine has rattled off five straight wins, and the fifth was an eye-opener, 28-21 over a quality 2A Mid-Prairie outfit. Luke DeMeulenaere has rushed for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns, and the Plainsmen defense has allowed just 48 points in the last five games. Grundy Center has been a bugaboo to the Plainsmen lately, beating them twice last year. The Spartans are tops in Class A in scoring offense (43.3 points per game) and defense (4.7). Zach Opheim has 1,010 rushing yards and 14 TDs to his credit.

Western Dubuque at Decorah

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

Records and rankings: Western Dubuque is 4-2 overall, 2-1 Class 3A District 3; Decorah is 5-1, 3-1.

Overview: Decorah can clinch at least a share of the district title — and most likely, a first-round playoff bye — with a victory. Western Dubuque is the outright champion with a victory and if West Delaware is upset by Waterloo East. The Bobcats are stinging after a 49-14 loss to West Delaware last week but has one of the most prolific aerial attacks in the state, led by QB Garrett Baumhover (1,598 passing yards, 16 TDs) and receivers Tommy DeSollar and Dakota Lau. Decorah was upset last week by Waverly-Shell Rock, 21-17, letting an early 10-point lead slide. The Vikings have a balanced attack — 174 yards per game rushing, 153 passing.

West Branch at Dyersville Beckman

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

Records and rankings: West Branch is 4-2 overall, 2-1 Class 1A District 5; Beckman is 4-1, 4-0.

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Overview: The 1A-5 race is a three-team affair, but Beckman can take any mystery out of it if the Blazers can defeat perennial-power West Branch and earn their fifth straight win. It won’t be an easy task; the Bears are rounding into postseason form behind quarterback Gavin Hierseman, who ranks fifth in 1A with 1,031 passing yards. West Branch rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat Durant, 28-21, and keep its district title hopes alive. Cascade (4-2, 3-1) also is in the title picture and plays at Durant (3-2, 1-2).

Solon at Center Point-Urbana

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

Records and rankings: No. 6 Solon is 4-2 overall, 4-0 Class 2A District 6; CPU is 3-3, 3-1.

Overview: With a 42-14 win over Mount Vernon last week, Solon put itself in charge of the 2A-6 race, and can wrap up the title with a victory Friday. The Spartans average 277 yards on the ground per game, and went over the 400-yard mark against the Mustangs. Jackson Ryan leads the balanced ground game with 698 yards and six touchdowns. CPU has won three straight games, and if the Stormin’ Pointers can stretch that streak to four, they’ll earn a share of the district crown. Joey Metzen is a big-play threat on the edge, averaging 25.9 yards per reception and has scored four touchdowns.

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

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