FRIDAY’S CIML & CENTRAL IOWA GAMES
AMES at C.B. THOMAS JEFFERSON
About Ames (3-5, 2-2): Senior receiver Colby Shane has eased third-string quarterback Joe Evans’ transition by catching almost everything in sight. In last week’s home finale against East, Shane grabbed 10 passes for 149 yards and four touchdowns, an effort that locked the Little Cyclones into a third-seed.
About Thomas Jefferson (1-7, 1-3): The Yellow Jackets have hung tough early on in search of their second district win, but they’ll need a stronger four quarters to steal a playoff spot. Junior Tyler Moore rushed for 158 yards and both touchdowns in last week’s loss to Ankeny, which started 14-12 and ended 49-12.
SIOUX CITY NORTH at D.M. EAST
About S.C. North (1-7, 0-4): Quarterback Deion Clayborne is carrying the offense as a converted running back, but it hasn’t been enough to save the Stars. Rushing for 781 yards and nine touchdowns has mildly offset the 35 percent passing and 13 interceptions in a season-long offensive struggle.
About East (4-4, 1-3): The Scarlets need a win to secure their eighth playoff berth in the last nine years. They came up short after scoring 35 points and forcing five turnovers at Ames last week, but a similar formula at home should allow East to get back above .500.
No. 6 ANKENY at SOUTHEAST POLK
About Ankeny (7-1, 4-0): A second straight district title comes down to this short road trip for the Hawks. The high-powered and balanced offense has scored 49, 56 and 49 points in its last three games, including six rushing touchdowns by four different players last week.
About Southeast Polk (5-3, 4-0): No CIML team has run rampant for the last month quite like the Rams. Since the 0-3 start, Southeast Polk has averaged 238 rushing yards and 46 points per outing. Senior Cole Hauser has led the charge on the ground, taking six carries for 127 yards and three scores last week against Sioux City North.
D.M. ROOSEVELT at C.B. LEWIS CENTRAL
About Roosevelt (0-8, 0-4): The offense couldn’t score on top-ranked Dowling, but they prevented a complete rout too, only turning it over once and letting young returners get repetitions. Sophomore Dre’Ker Jackman got 14 carries last week and has the ability to break a play longer than the 33 yards he totaled.
About Lewis Central (5-3, 2-2): Kenny McMahan rushed for 111 yards, but the Titans never found a way past Johnston in a 7-0 loss last week. Coach Jim Duggan’s club won’t beat itself ahead of the postseason. His sophomore quarterback son, Max, has thrown 124 passes and nine touchdowns without an interception.
D.M. NORTH at No. 1 DOWLING CATHOLIC
About North (1-7, 1-3): Senior Noah Lane has rushed for more yards than the Polar Bears did as a team last season. The quarterback scrambled for 74 more in last week’s lopsided loss to Sioux City East, but his teammates will remember the 185 and two touchdowns he had against Roosevelt for longer.
About Dowling (7-0, 4-0): This is where depth comes in handy.Three Maroons passed, nine rushed and eight caught passes in last week’s rout of Roosevelt, and that’s not including the defense’s entire roster of tacklers. Staying healthy and fresh will remain a priority.
JOHNSTON at SIOUX CITY EAST
About Johnston (6-2, 3-1): Jacob Newcomb’s first touchdown catch of the season was the only score the Dragons needed to top Lewis Central last week. Johnston’s defense has shutout its last two opponents not named Dowling, and this week’s challenge comes with the added importance of second place and home-field advantage.
About S.C. East (5-3, 2-2): The Black Raiders got over their back-to-back losses with an emphatic blowout of North. Connor Koza was 26-of-30 passing for 377 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 70 more and a touchdown. Sophomore Steve Siebersma had three carries for 19 yards and three touchdowns. Can the efficiency carry over against Johnston?
C.B. ABRAHAM LINCOLN at No. 8 ANKENY CENTENNIAL
About Abraham Lincoln (1-7, 0-4): Back-to-back losses by a 20-17 score have shut the door on sneaking into the playoffs. Sophomore Jasper Stottlemeyer gave Lynx fans a sign of hope for the future with 124 rushing yards against Sioux City West last week.
About Centennial (6-2, 4-0): John Banta’s three field goals were vital. So were the clock-chewing drives and back-breaking turnovers. The Jaguars proved their ability ahead of the playoffs with last week’s upset of Valley, and a nice run of home-field advantage could be next.
No. 4 W.D.M. VALLEY at D.M. LINCOLN
About Valley (6-2, 3-1): When the Tigers lost to Dowling in Week 4, they responded by putting up 62 points on Hoover. Now, Valley is coming off a two-point loss to Centennial; but it already scored 62 on Lincoln last season. Junior receivers Braeden Heald and Austin Hinkle were a bright spot in the Centennial loss combining for 18 catches for 216 yards.
About Lincoln (4-4, 2-2):Hoover holds Lincoln’s playoff hopes in Week 9. But the Railsplitters have to come together in the home finale regardless, battling through injuries and quarterback changes and the understandably hurting offense. Their last home game, a 22-21 win over Sioux City West, helped keep the Rails in the playoff race.
URBANDALE at No. 10 FORT DODGE
About Urbandale (5-3, 3-1): Home-field advantage would feel like a huge victory for a J-Hawk time riding out a wild season. Last week’s 41-0 blanking of Marshalltown put Urbandale back on a steady track, spreading out carries and playing sound defense like the contender it is.
About Fort Dodge (7-1, 3-1): There’s no time left to cry over the last-second loss at Waukee that ended Fort Dodge’s perfect start. The Dodgers need a win to host another home game, and that means unleashing their 4A-best offense. Johnny Bice still threw for 257 yards in defeat, but the run game and Sam Cook were bottled up for most the night.
INDIANOLA at MARSHALLTOWN
About Indianola (4-4, 1-3): A fourth straight playoff berth is on the line on the road for the Indians. Senior Isaiah Strong rushed for 205 yards in last week’s 30-21 win over Mason City to set up this fourth-place showdown. The defense just has to keep Indianola in it; they’ve allowed 40-plus points in all four losses.
About Marshalltown (3-5, 1-3): The struggling offense has to come alive one more time. Shutout in their last two games, the Bobcats still have a chance to make the playoffs in coach Don Knock’s first season. Creating a run game against Indianola would build confidence as Marshalltown rushed for just 20 yards against Urbandale last week.
No. 7 WAUKEE at MASON CITY
About Waukee (6-2, 4-0): A third straight district title is close enough to taste. The Warriors have won five straight, none sweeter than last week’s 31-28 win over unbeaten Fort Dodge. Kayde Penn’s big play ability opened up the run game for Daniel Ray’s grinding, preparing the offense for postseason form.
About Mason City (1-7, 0-4): They’re getting closer. The Mohawks may have lost seven in a row, but the 21-20 scare with Urbandale was followed by a 30-21 game at Indianola that included two Wyatt Cooper kickoff return touchdowns. Can Mason City muster one more tight finish?
OTHER CENTRAL IOWA SELECTIONS
WOODWARD-GRANGER (4-4, 2-3) at DES MOINES CHRISTIAN (3-5, 2-3)
Half of the four-way tie at 2-3 in Class 1A District 8 square off in Urbandale. The winner is in the postseason, the loser likely needs major help; both teams have negative tiebreaker point differentials. Junior running back Tanner Vermaas has carried the Woodward-Granger offense along, while four of the six passes DMC quarterback Nathan Herbers completed last week were touchdowns.
No. 5 DALLAS CENTER-GRIMES (7-1, 5-0) at GLENWOOD (7-1, 4-1)
Harlan handed Glenwood its first loss last week, but the Rams have to quickly rebound to save second-place and home-field advantage out of 3A-8. DCG will make that difficult, riding an impressive six-game win streak. The Mustang offense spread the ball around last week to stay on top of the district, gaining 270 yards on 22 rush attempts from five different players.
MADRID (6-2, 3-2) at MANSON-NORTHWEST WEBSTER (3-5, 3-2)
The winner is definitely in from 1A-7. The loser may have to sweat: Fort Dodge St. Edmond (4-4, 2-3) is in fifth place and would hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over Madrid if Manson-Northwest Webster wins this game. The Tigers will be confident, having scored 70 points and rushed for 566 yards on Woodward Academy last week.
BEDFORD (5-3, 3-3) at NODAWAY VALLEY (4-4, 3-3)
Bedford has posted back-to-back shutouts. Nodaway Valley has won three in a row. And it all comes down to this game. Fourth place is the only spot left in A-8 and the winner in Greenfield gets it. Buckle up those chinstraps, because both teams love to run the ball: Bedford has thrown only five touchdown passes all season, which is five more than the Wolverines.