First-round football playoff previews

First-round football playoff previews


First-round football playoff previews


All games at 7 p.m.

City High (4-5) at C.R. Xavier (9-0)

* Where: Saints Field.

* Playoff appearances:

City High (24): 1986, 1988-90, 1992-2001, 2003-12.

Xavier (9): 2001, 2003, 2006-12.

* Summary: Teams did not play this season. Cedar Rapids Xavier is ranked third and won the Valley division title of the MVC. City High has lost four games in a row. Xavier quarterback Reggie Schulte is likely the Valley division player of the year. He’s completed 102-of-135 passes (.756) for 1,646 yards and 28 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Schulte is experienced and smart and rarely makes mistakes. Corbin Woods leads the Saints with 38 catches for 767 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Bryce Grimm has 24 receptions for 277 yards. The Saints’ leading rusher is Brendan Miller with 653 yards and a 6.5-yards-per-carry average. “They are a very traditional Xavier type of team. They appear to have more depth than they’ve ever had and more size,” City High coach Dan Sabers said. “They may even be better than that state championship team.” This is a tall order for a team that has struggled with turnovers and injuries. The winner plays either Waterloo East or Davenport Assumption.

West Waterloo (3-6) at West High (9-0)

* Where: Trojan Field.

* Playoff appearances:

West High (11): 1994-99, 2002-03, 2009, 2011-12.

Waterloo West (6): 1975-6, 1984, 1990-91, 2012.

* Summary: Teams did not play this season or last. The Wahawks are in the Valley division and their wins came over three teams that did not qualify for the playoffs: Linn-Mar, Wahlert and Cedar Rapids Washington. The Wahawks are a running team, and that’s the first order of business for West High’s defense. Lance Dunn and Dequayvious Martin have rushed for a combined 1,418 yards. Dunn is tied for the lead in the Valley division in rushing with 794 in 102 carries (7.8 per carry). Quarterback Alex Young has run for nearly 600 yards and is only third on the team. Young has thrown for 483 yards and completed 47 percent of his passes. The winner will play either C.R. Prairie or Dubuque Senior.

Crestwood (4-5) at Solon (7-2)

* Where: Spartan Stadium.

* Radio: KGYM 106.3-FM.

* Playoff appearances:

Solon (23): 1984-88, 1990-95, 1999, 2000, 2002-03, 2005-12.

Crestwood (7): 1995, 1997-99, 2002, 2008, 2012.

* Summary: Teams did not play this season. Crestwood was the third-place team in District 5, while Solon shared its district title with Marion and DeWitt Central but is the second seed. Crestwood quarterback Kolter Freidhof has completed 78-of-195 passes for 1,242 yards. The Cadets’ rushing is spread around, befitting a triple-option attack. Matthew Cuvelier, Kody Sindelar, Jordan Hogan and Freidhof have combined for 1,186 yards. The Cadets are the fourth-highest scoring team in their district at 21.2 points per game. Solon led District 6 in scoring with a 34.1 points-per-game average. The Spartans should have some momentum after crushing Benton in the regular-season finale. The winner likely will play unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Decorah.

PCM (4-6) at Mid-Prairie (7-2)

* Where: Dwight Sattler Field, Wellman.

* Playoff appearances:

Mid-Prairie (9): 1976, 2001, 2004-06, 2008-09, 2011-12.

PCM (10): 1996, 2001, 2003, 2005-06, 2008-12. Prairie City also had three appearances before consolidation in 1977, 1981, 1984.

* Summary: PCM is one of the rare teams to have played 10 games, including a week 0 victory over Roland-Story. Its other wins came against Collins-Maxwell-Baxter, Interstate 35 and Clarke. The Mustangs are coming off a 30-7 loss to district champ Bondurant-Farrar. PCM led its district in receiving yards with 2,132 but rushed for only 558. The Mustangs threw 302 passes and ran only 243 times. So this will be a different kind of challenge for a Mid-Prairie defense that vows to stop the run first. The Mustangs are averaging 25.6 points per game. The Golden Hawks are coming off a big 26-0 victory over West Liberty to secure second place in the district and the home field in the first round. The winner likely will face Bondurant-Farrar.

West Liberty (5-4) at Albia (8-1)

* Where: Albia.

* Playoff appearances:

West Liberty (7): 1987, 1989, 1992, 1998, 2010-12.

Albia (5): 1994, 2005, 2010-12.

* Summary: West Liberty beat Albia 23-6 in the first round of playoffs a year ago. The Comets are coming off a disappointing loss at Mid-Prairie, which cost them the district runner-up spot and a home game in the first round. Albia’s one loss this season was a 10-pointer to district champion Bondurant-Farrar. Albia primarily is a rushing team, accumulating 1,947 yards on the ground and 1,168 through the air. Alex Schultz is the leading rusher with 933 yards and quarterback Brett Leshen has 1,137 passing yards and has run for another 333. Zach Hugen is the primary receiver with 28 catches for 638 yards. The winner likely will face unbeaten and second-ranked Mediapolis.

Tipton (5-4) at Regina (9-0)

* Where: Regina field.

* Radio: KXIC 800-AM, KCJJ 1630-AM.

* Playoff appearances:

Regina (10): 1972, 2004-12.

Tipton (8): 1985, 1992, 2002-03, 2005, 2007-08, 2012.

* Summary: Fellow CVC teams did not play in regular season. The Tigers have lost four of their last five, but all four were to playoff teams including 2A Mid-Prairie and only one was a blowout (to Maquoketa Valley). Despite finishing fourth in its district, Tipton led the district in rushing and was second in total offense averaging 324 yards and 28 points per game. The Tigers rushed for 2,087 and passed for 832. Quarterback Alex Wiley has completed 50 percent of his passes for 832 yards and rushed for another 312. Chandler Harden leads the rushing attack with 672 yards (5 yards per carry). Zach Davis leads in receptions with 15 for 310 yards. The teams had two common opponents: Wilton and Alburnett. Tipton beat Wilton by a touchdown in the season opener while Regina won 50-18. Tipton lost by a point to Alburnett while Regina won 54-20. The winner will play either Clayton Ridge or West Branch.

West Branch (7-2) at Clayton Ridge (7-2)

* Where: Guttenberg.

* Playoff appearances:

West Branch (20): 1988-96, 1998, 2000, 2002-05, 2008-12.

Clayton Ridge (5): 2004, 2006, 2009-10, 2012; Also Guttenberg 1975, 1996.

* Summary: Teams played in the 2010 playoffs with the Bears winning. The teams have known for a while that this was the likely matchup, so rest assured plenty of time went into advance scouting. Clayton Ridge’s two losses came to Starmont and Maquoketa Valley, each by a touchdown. Both teams defeated common opponent North Cedar handily. Clayton Ridge quarterback Kohle Helle has completed just 44 percent of his passes for 947 yards. He has 11 interceptions and eight touchdowns. Kalen Backes and Kris Ihde have combined for 1,130 yards rushing. The Bears have relied on a strong running game but coach Butch Pedersen vows that his offense will be more diverse in the playoffs. The winner likely will get No. 1 Regina.

Montezuma (6-3) at Lone Tree (6-3)

* Where: Lions Field.

* Playoff appearances:

Lone Tree (8): 1982, 1984-86, 2008-09, 2011-12; also Highland-Lone Tree ’97, 2001.

Montezuma (9): 1984, 1988-89, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2012.

* Summary: Lone Tree’s players said they were fired up after their narrow loss to Lisbon last week in the district championship. To earn a rematch, they will need to be. Montezuma’s losses were to BGM, Lynnville-Sully and BCLUW. Montezuma has run for 1,879 and passed for 735 yards, fourth in total offense in its district. Lone Tree also was fourth in its district but is more balanced, rushing for 1,718 yards and passing for 1,040. Mitch Stevens and quarterback Zach Gibson have combined to run for 1,311 yards to lead the attack. Gibson has completed 53 percent of his passes for 725 yards with six interceptions and 10 TDs.


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