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11 area squads try to extend season

Prep Spotlight: Playoffs

October 24, 2012
By CHRIS JOHNSON - Assistant Sports Editor ( , Messenger News

Ten Messenger-area teams extended their football season, and tonight, they look to push even deeper into October.

Eight of the qualifiers are trying to continue respective win streaks. Two return to the playoffs after a brief hiatus, while Greene County advanced in its first year as a consolidated school.

With a win in its final regular season game, Bishop Garrigan extended its playoff streak to nine straight seasons. Emmetsburg and Webster City have made five straight playoff appearances.

Manson Northwest Webster is in for the fourth time in five years. West Bend-Mallard is making its fourth consecutive trip since playing eight-man.

Top-ranked (eight-man) Newell-Fonda is in for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

Prairie Valley is on the playoff field for the third time in four seasons. Clarion-Goldfield, a 2011 state quarterfinalist, returns as well.

Humboldt returns for the first time since winning a state title in 2006.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts this evening. The next round will be on Monday.

Here's a look at tonight's games:

NEWTON (5-4) at HUMBOLDT (6-3)

After dropping the first three games of the season, the Wildcats have reeled off six consecutive victories and have beaten their opponents by an average of 22.2 points. The Wildcats own victories over Clear Lake and Le Mars, who are both 7-2.

The Wildcats, who won the district title, are led on the ground by Brady Ross. The sophomore has rushed for 1,203 yards and has reached the endzone 16 times.

Ross is also the leading charge on defense with 89 tackles.

Quarterback Ben Jacobson has thrown for 992 yards and 10 touchdowns, while only throwing two picks.

Newton has won four straight contests. The Cardinals' four losses have been against opponents with a combined record of 23-9.

Sophomore Tyler Wood has thrown for eight touchdowns, but has 11 giveaways. Senior Dakota Hills has ran for 433 yards and six touchdowns.

WEBSTER CITY (4-5) at No. 2 GRINNELL (9-0)

After winning four straight games, the Lynx enter the playoffs on a four game losing streak and will face the second-ranked team in Class 3A.

Junior Connor Larson has been the catalyst on offense for the Lynx, rushing for 972 yards and 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Alex Oswald has rushed for five touchdowns.

Oswald has thrown for 535 and six scores.

It'll be an uphill battle for Webster City, who faces a Tiger ballclub that is averaging 41.6 per contest and giving up only 10.2.

Quarterback Eli Dunne has thrown for the third most yards in 3A (1,957) and third most touchdowns (18) with only three picks. Dunne also has four rushing touchdowns.

Bryce Lidtka has rushed for 666 yards and the third most touchdowns in 3A with 19.


The Cowboys have made a name for themselves running the ball, producing a 1,000-yard rusher again this fall.

For the second consecutive season, Clarion-Goldfield has had an offensive back reach quadruple digits. During their 2011 quarterfinal run, Dominic Brandt and Wyatt Sann both reached the plateau.

This season, Jake Haberman has rushed for 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns. Matt Odland has complemented him nicely, with six TDs and 676 yards.

Quarterback Adam Stevens has 610 yards and five scores. Brandt Van Roekel has done damage with both his arm and his leg. Van Roekel has thrown for 897 yards and nine touchdowns. He has ran 861 yards and nine scores on the ground. Miguel Alvarado has 14 touchdowns and 513 yards.

The Nighthawks are averaging 41.6 points per game and giving up only 5.4 per contest. They have pitched four shutouts this season.

The combined record of the six playoff teams B-H faced is 38-16.


In its first season as a consolidated school, the Rams won three of their last four games to reach the playoffs.

Quarterback Tory Beger has led the offense with 1,036 yards passing and 11 scores. Beger also has five rushing touchdowns.

Mitchell Madson has 408 yards on the ground and seven TDs.

For North Polk, their offense is led by quarterback Cole Jackson. The senior has thrown for 1,481 yards and 17 scores. Jacob Hadaway has 783 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Russell Greene has six TD grabs.

RIDGE VIEW (4-5) at No. 3 EMMETSBURG (8-1)

Emmetsburg makes its fifth straight playoff appearance with the third best rushing offense in the state and the top in Class 1A. The E-Hawks have rushed for 3,899 yards this season and 433 per contest.

They're also led by the best back in Class 1A.

Senior Andrew Wellick has rushed for 1,856 yards and the second most (25) touchdowns in Class 2A. He has the top average yards per carry in the class at 10.9 as well.

Ridge View's Dru Kenny has rushed for 906 yards and eight touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Garthoff has thrown for 1,041 yards and four TDs.

MANSON NW (5-4) at SOUTH O'BRIEN (7-2)

The Cougars' offense is led by 1,000-yard passer Alex Bush and 1,000-yard rushed Brennan Thompson.

Bush, only a sophomore, has thrown for 1,344 yards and 12 touchdowns. Thompson has rushed for 1,011 and 11 scores.

Thompson also leads the team with 105 tackles.

Brody Eischeid has 496 yards receiving and three TDs for MNW.

South O'Brien is paced by Zach Nieman, who has 1,182 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Wolverines have won four of their last five games.

BISHOP GARRIGAN (4-5) at No. 4 WEST LYON (8-1)

The Golden Bears reached the postseason for the ninth straight time with a Week 9 win over Lake Mills.

Garrigan has done most of its damage on the ground, rushing for 1,621 yards, led Reece Wadle (448 yards), Shawn Vaske (333) and Jonathan Berte (222).

As the squads signal-caller, Wadle has thrown for 761 yards and six touchdowns.

The Wildcats are averaging 38.5 points per contest and are giving up only 7.8 per game. West Lyon has the 11th-highest ranked rushing offense (2,916) in the state and third best in Class A.

The Wildcats have a three-headed attack in Kaleb Heyer (649 yards), Brandon Snyder (558) and Tyler Van Middendorp (481) on the ground.

Snyder has thrown seven touchdown passes.


Mason Gordon and Austin Promes have been quite a one-two punch for the Warriors.

Gordon reached the 1,000-yard mark in the last game of the season. He has 1,157 yards and 15 touchdowns. Promes is next in line with 612 yards and six scores for PVHS.

Quarterback Ryan True has thrown for 503 yards and four scores.

The Westerners have rushed for 2,285 yards and thrown for 1,183. On the ground Taylor James has 1,489 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. Cory Eskra has thrown for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Westerners are averaging 34.4 points per contest.


The Wolverines have been balanced all season long, running for 2,283 yards and throwing for 1,226.

Jesse Zinnel has been the groundhog, rushing for 516 yards and eight scores. Jordon Buhs has 404 yards and seven touchdowns.

Zinnel, the quarterback, has thrown for 1,223 yards and 12 scores as well. He also has 74 tackles and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns defensively.

MMC is scoring at a 56-point clip and only giving up 21 points a contest. They have rushed for 2,420 yards and passed for 1,334.

Andrew Hoefling has 1,025 yards on the ground and 16 touchdowns.

Tanner Utesch has thrown for 1,223 yards and 23 touchdowns with only three interceptions.


Quarterback Matt Cleveland has been a driving force behind the Charger offense. Cleveland has thrown for 866 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 842 and 11 TDs.

Collin Lind has 15 rushing touchdowns and 552 yards.

Will Cleveland has caught seven TDs on the year.

The Chargers started the season on a four-game winning streak before losing to top-ranked Newell-Fonda. L-M is only one of two squads to stay within three touchdowns of the Mustangs.

Remsen-Union is paced by Nick Braun. The junior has rushed for 652 yards and eight scores. Jeremy Sanchez has 599 yards and five scores.

Quarterback Cam Kuchel has 1,028 yards passing and 17 TDs.

RIVER VALLEY (4-5) at No. 1 NEWELL-FONDA (9-0)

The top-ranked Mustangs have high-powered offense to go along with a stingy defense. Newell-Fonda is averaging 59 points per game and giving up only 11 per night.

The Mustangs have rushed for 3,002 yards - third best in eight-man. Jonathan Johnson has 1,147 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Also contributing key yardage are Zak Sievers (642 yards, 10 touchdowns), Brady Bohe (428, 7 TDs) and Rigo Johnson (285, 8 TDs).

Sievers has thrown for 815 and 15 scores. Dalton Anderson (7 TDs) and Jonathan Johnson (5 TDs) have been his main targets.

The Mustangs will have to against eight-man's second-ranked quarterback and third-rated rusher all in one. Junior Brennan Riedemann has thrown for 1,801 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has also accumulated 1,695 yards on the ground.

Josh Pansegrau has 914 yards receving and 10 TDs.