No. 8 Western Dubuque (9-2) takes on No. 5 Sergeant Bluff-Luton (10-1) in a Class 3A semifinal game Thursday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m.
Playoff path: Western Dubuque upset fourth-ranked Solon in the quarterfinals, 48-13, and third-ranked North Scott in the semifinals, 45-21. SB-L has not played a ranked team in the playoffs yet, disposing of Sioux City Heelan in the quarters, 42-0, and Spencer in the semis, 27-0.
Overview: Western Dubuque has been the darkhorse darling of the 3A playoffs.
The Bobcats are led by junior quarterback Calvin Harris, a University of Mississippi baseball commit, who has thrown for 2,037 yards and 24 touchdowns, completing 67 percent of his passes. His favorite target is Drake George, who has 63 catches, including 13 TDs.
Jake Hosch rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns against North Scott, taking over lead running back duties after Ben Bryant incurred a season-ending knee injury in an early October loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier
Sergeant Bluff-Luton is the darling of the IHSAA’s new RPI format, which determined playoff seeds and pairings.
The Warriors were No. 1 in 3A despite losing in the regular season to Lewis Central (ranked second in the RPI), 42-14. Defending champion Cedar Rapids Xavier also went unbeaten in the regular season, yet finished behind SB-L in RPI, due to the Warriors’ strong schedule.
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Junior quarterback Daniel Wright has thrown for 2,180 yards and 24 touchdowns, to just three interceptions. He has completed 67 percent of his passes.
Running back Britton Delperdang has 1,305 yards rushing and 10 TDs.