Area squads line up for district challenges

It’s Week 4 of the prep football season, which means we are almost halfway through the year.

That also brings us to the second round of district play around northcentral Iowa.

Seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Clarion-Goldfield/Dows has already tripled its win total of a year ago, storming out of the gates with a 3-0 start. While the Cowboys have a big one to look forward to next week, they need to focus first on the task at hand against Crestwood.

Longtime powerhouse Emmetsburg can earn a statement win when they welcome No. 8 (1A) Hull Western Christian, while area squads Eagle Grove and Manson Northwest Webster square off in a district battle.

Here’s a look at the entire slate of area action for this evening:

Crestwood (1-2, 1-0) at No. 7 (2A) Clarion-Goldfield/Dows/CAL (3-0, 1-0)

The 2016 season has been a welcome change for Cowboy faithful, as Clarion-Goldfield/Dows/CAL is off to a 3-0 start after winning just a single contest last year.

Fresh off a 54-8 throttling of Osage to open Class 2A district play last week, C-G/D/C welcomes Crestwood before a showdown with second-ranked New Hampton next Friday night on the road.

Kainan Braun continues to be the focal point of the offensive attack, passing for 396 yards and adding another 434 on the ground. Braun has thrown five touchdown passes against just two interceptions, while running in another six.

Backfield mate Nathan Rapp has made an immediate impact, as the sophomore has rushed for 239 yards and five scores. Chase Harker (nine catches, 180 yards) and Avery Harrington (eight for 153) are the top targets for Braun.

Crestwood, which scored its first win of the year over Hampton-Dumont last week, relies on senior running back Trae Pecinovsky. He has 278 yards and a pair of TDs, including a 116-yard performance vs. the Bulldogs.

Sophomore quarterback Jon Henry had just 40 yards rushing last week on seven carries, but three of them went for scores.

No. 8 (1A) Hull Western Christian (2-1, 1-0) at Emmetsburg (1-2, 1-0)

The E-Hawks have a huge opportunity in front of them as they host eighth-ranked Hull Western Christian tonight.

Led by Brent Wesley, the E-Hawks grinded their way to a 3-0 victory over Sibley-Ocheyedan last week after falling to Spencer and Estherville-LC. Wesley ran for 73 yards in that game, while booting through the game-winning 27-yard field goal.

On the year, Wesley has 319 yards, while Grant Deitering has another 174.

Hull’s main offensive threat is quarterback Tyson Kooima. The senior is completing 46 percent of his passes for 434 yards and seven TDs. He has been picked off five times, but has another 150 yards rushing.

Ben Granstra leads the rushing attack with 349 yards and six scores, while Ben Gesink (six catches, 172 yards) and Justin Grevengoed (11 for 161) are top receiving threats.

The Emmetsburg defense has forced eight turnovers on the year and will need more of that to pull the upset. The lone loss for Western Christian was to No. 4 (2A) Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley in Week 1.

Eagle Grove (1-2, 1-0) at Manson NW (1-2, 0-1)

It was a tale of two different games for the Eagles and Cougars last week.

Eagle Grove relied on junior Evan Anderson to score a 20-13 win over West Central Valley, as Anderson ran 41 times for 237 yards and a score. Nikolas Padilla added 121 yards and a touchdown, while throwing for 61 yards on 6 of 10 passing to four different receivers.

The Eagles opened the year with tough games vs. Southeast Valley and No. 7 (2A) Clarion-Goldfield/Dows.

Manson Northwest Webster was unable to overcome five turnovers in a 23-16 loss to South Hamilton. Keaton Wood did run for 120 yards, while Reid Steinberg had 99 yards of total offense. When senior quarterback Ben Wignall went down with an injury, sophomore Derek Girard was called upon to replace him.

Steinberg and Wood have each rushed for 260-plus yards, with Steinberg racking up 267 on 42 caries and Wood 262 on 45. They have seven combined touchdowns.

Other games around the area tonight: Algona (0-3, 1-2) at Humboldt (1-2, 0-1); Greene County (0-3, 0-1) at Webster City (2-1, 0-1); MOC-Floyd Valley (0-3, 0-1) at Pocahontas Area (0-3, 0-1); Underwood (2-1, 1-0) at East Sac County (1-2, 1-0); South Central Calhoun (2-1, 1-0) at Shenandoah (1-2, 0-1); Red Oak (1-2, 0-1) at Southeast Valley (1-2, 0-1); North Union (1-2, 0-1) at No. 3 (A) Bishop Garrigan (3-0, 1-0); Kingsley-Pierson (1-2, 0-1) at Newell-Fonda (2-1, 1-0); Remsen St. Mary’s (2-1, 0-1) at West Bend-Mallard (3-0, 1-0).