WEDNESDAY’S CENTRAL IOWA GAMES
All games 7 p.m. unless noted.
Indianola (5-4) at No. 6 Ankeny (8-1)
Ankeny won the first meeting way back in August, 42-28, behind 260 passing yards and three touchdowns from Blaine Hawkins. After an injury Friday, his accuracy will be missed against an Indianola defense that has given up 40-plus points in all its losses. The Indians have ridden running backs Kade Kolarik and Isaiah Strong to back-to-back wins and a playoff spot. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
D.M. East (5-4) at No. 8 Ankeny Centennial (7-2)
The 8 p.m. portion of Ankeny’s home doubleheader has the Scarlets as Centennial’s fourth and final Metro opponent. The previously three were beaten by a combined score of 158-13. Running through district play unbeaten probably didn’t hurt the Jaguars either, and they should be rested after spreading out snaps on Friday. East needs big plays to survive. Can seniors Jaron Turner, Brandon Trotter and Hunter Kahler produce a few more?
D.M. Lincoln (4-5) at No. 1 Dowling Catholic (8-0)
Can the Railsplitters find their confidence? Coming off a 76-6 loss to Valley, they need to if they want to keep the crowd around at Williams Stadium. The two-time defending champions have beaten Roosevelt and North in the last two weeks and will just be hoping to stay healthy. Christian Cavan, Cole Deskin, Aaron Krah, Kurt Walding and Jacob Zachary all rushed in touchdowns before subbing out on Friday.
D.M. Hoover (6-3) at No. 10 Johnston (7-2)
Hoover’s losses haven’t been close, but there’s no doubt it’s the most dangerous Des Moines team left. Wilfrid Kouakou has thrown three touchdowns in each of the last three games – all victories – and will keep relying on his receiving options to move the ball. Johnston has allowed just three points in the last two weeks and shouldn’t be caught off guard by Hoover’s spread. The Dragons will try and control the clock with a run game that had more than 400 yards on Friday.
Fort Dodge (7-2) at Southeast Polk (5-4)
Fort Dodge is Class 4A’s only seven-win team on the road in the first round. That’s because the Dodgers dropped their last two games, allowing 83 points to Waukee and Urbandale in games that decided District 4. The Rams will try and replicate those efforts while coming off a loss of their own. Ankeny held Southeast Polk quarterback Thomas McLaughlin to a season-low 106 yards on Friday, and the pass game will have to be found to get out of the first round.
C.B. Lewis Central (6-3) at Urbandale (6-3)
A loss to Waukee and near-collapse in Mason City have been forgotten by a rejuvenated Urbandale run game that has rammed in 11 touchdowns in the last two weeks. Alex Newberg is the dutiful workhorse, but he’s surrounded by speedsters Vernon Cheatem, Tavien Gardner and Jevon Burnside. Lewis Central is coming off a 55-0 rout of Roosevelt, a necessary boost after being shutout at Johnston.
Sioux City East (5-4) at No. 7 Waukee (7-2)
How will the Black Raiders hold up in the trenches? That answer likely dictates Sioux City East’s fate, as the potent offense has been powerless against physical district opponents like Dowling and Johnston. Waukee will want a seventh straight win coming off a nicely balanced win at Mason City that featured a Tyler Groathouse pick-six.
Ames (4-5) at No. 4 W.D.M. Valley (7-2)
Ames has the offense to stay in a shootout, but the defense and special teams have scored in three straight games, too. Marcus Coleman’s interception and Micheal Agbaje’s kickoff return were taken to the house on Friday against Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson. They’ll need all those points to keep up with a Valley team that just scored 76 points on Lincoln. The Tigers have tied the state record by making the playoffs for the 24th straight season.
INTERACTIVE BRACKETS: State football playoffs
Algona (5-4) at Ballard (6-3)
The Bombers have poured in points in four straight wins. Kobe Schulze took most the carries last week and rushed for 124 yards, but four different players ran in touchdowns. Algona is led by Noah Arrowood’s 1,146 rushing yards this season, but has lost three straight and is coming off an overtime period.
Carlisle (6-3) at Dallas Center-Grimes (7-2)
The season opener went to DCG in Carlisle, 39-6. The Mustangs are back home, but coming off a loss and have backup quarterback Damon Clapper in his second start. Carlisle seniors Andrew Burnett and Peyton Stephens took 47 carries for 408 yards and five touchdowns on Friday, and should be ready for more.
Chariton (5-4) at Gilbert (8-1)
Early season point differential got Chariton into the four-seed in District 7, as coach Curt Smyser’s club has lost by 42 and 50 points in the last two weeks. T.J. Hockenson is still around though, leading the state in receptions and receiving touchdowns. Gilbert doesn’t throw much, but has won eight straight with a physical run game and aggressive defense.
Creston (5-4) at No. 6 Harlan (8-1)
In 2014, Harlan missed the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. This season, the Cyclones were district champs. The one-seed has won five in a row and gets a rematch with a Creston team it beat 59-21 on Oct. 9. Chase Shiltz leads the Panthers and 3A in rushing, but has taken 77 carries in the last two weeks.
Bondurant-Farrar (6-3) at No. 5 Norwalk (8-1)
The Bluejays are becoming road warriors, playing in Bondurant just once in October. They rushed for 313 yards at Winterset on Friday, but better hold on to the ball; Norwalk has forced 24 turnovers this season. Norwalk’s only loss came to Pella in Week 4.
Fairfield (4-5) at No. 1 Pella (9-0)
Fairfield fell into fourth place by losing its last two games. That means a date with the Dutch, who have won 23 straight games, the last two by a combined 109 points. Pella defense and run game are powerful, but the offense is ruthless when it passes; 20 touchdowns on 82 total completions.
Iowa Falls-Alden (4-5) at No. 1 Albia (9-0)
Albia senior Carter Isley leads 2A in rushing yards and touchdowns even with limited touches. The Blue Demon defense can score, too, with six return touchdowns. Iowa Falls-Alden held on to the four-seed with Friday’s 14-13 win over Roland-Story, but allowed 45 points or more in all five losses.
Collins-Maxwell/Baxter (6-3) at No. 4 Anamosa (9-0)
Blake Coughenour still leads CMB in rushing despite barely playing since Week 4, and it helps explain the drop from a 4-0 start as the competition stiffened. Anamosa has played just one game closer than 20 points. Quarterback Kolin Schulte has 11 touchdowns passing and 17 rushing.
North Polk (5-4) at Hampton-Dumont (7-2)
Can the Comets move the line? The defense has allowed just 28 total points in their five wins, and the offense needs support Max Karpinske passing from the pocket. Hampton-Dumont has won five in a row with a physical line and durable back in Johnny Guerrero.
Mid-Prairie (7-2) at No. 10 PCM (7-2)
PCM needs the L’s for a W. Quarterback Logan Gilman has 21 touchdown passes, 12 going to Luke Greiner, and Logan Litrell has 12 himself in the run game. Mid-Prairie will work to keep the ball away from them, chewing clock with running backs Ricky Vargas and Nolan Faselt.
D.M. Christian (4-5) at Madrid (7-2)
Madrid went from playoff-maybe to playing at home with Week 9’s shutout of Manson-Northwest Webster. Junior Michael Santi will likely cross 2,000 rushing yards on the season sometime early against a DMC defense he already ran for 294 yards back in Week 5. The Lions have bounced back from a 1-4 start with quarterback Nathan Herbers slinging 19 touchdowns.
Ogden (5-4) at No. 10 Panorama (8-1)
The Panthers rolled in the Week 1 meeting, 48-21, and have barely skipped a beat since. Senior Gabe Richey has scored in almost every fashion and paces the run game with 22 touchdowns. Ogden has a reliable runner itself, with Austin Lentz rushing for 1,782 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.
Manson-Northwest Webster (5-4) at No. 5 Van Meter (8-1)
Four straight losses leave the Cougars as an underdog on the road in Round 1. Van Meter has crushed the competition in eight straight victories, and threw for five touchdowns on Friday at Central Decatur. Senior quarterback Ben Trent is second in 1A with 32 scores.
Pella Christian (6-3) at Wilton (5-4)
Will Friday’s loss to Iowa City Regina hurt or help Pella Christian? The 31-14 home loss ensured the Eagles would spend the first round on the road, but they were competitive with No. 1 and moved the ball well for stretches. Wilton will need defense, as it is averaging just 17 points per game in October.
Earlham (6-3) at Colfax-Mingo (7-2)
The Cardinals have played with a chip on their shoulder since getting shutout back-to-back by Pleasantville and Mount Ayr. Colfax-Mingo has to slow that young yet physical run game with its stars. Senior quarterback Jared Myers leads 11-player football in total yardage, while top tackler Jake Lietz is also the Tigerhawks’ top receiver.
Belmond-Klemme (7-2) at No. 10 Pleasantville (8-1)
Korby Sander needs to room to run. If the Belmond-Klemme senior gets it, he can come close to 2,000 yards again and the Broncos can claim an upset. The Trojans will make it tough. Pleasantville is allowing just five points per game and got rest last week with a 61-8 win over Clarinda Academy.
Colo-Nesco (7-2) at Wayne (Corydon) (8-1)
Colo-Nesco has lost two out of three, but those games were against Don Bosco and HLV, teams with a combined 15-1 record. Running back Garret Tiarks leads the offense with 1,252 total yards and 22 touchdowns. Wayne has won six in a row, the last four in devastating fashion. Seniors Trent Moore, Carson Kiefer and Keyton Nickell all have at least 15 touchdowns.