All comes down to this for area squads
After eight weeks of action, we’ve reached the final Friday night of the prep football regular season.
The playoffs begin next Friday, meaning this evening’s action will help shape the final pairings for the first round of the postseason, to be released on Saturday.
Many programs have already secured either a district title or runner-up spot, while the rest are either fighting to gain an automatic bid or end 2016 on a high note.
In Webster City, the seventh-ranked (Class 3A) Lynx and ninth-rated Boone square off for the District 2 title. The Toreadors are the lone unbeaten left in the ultra-tough league after winning their first six, while Webster City has just one loss on the year.
Southeast Valley is expected to gain a wild card berth into the 2A playoffs, but could really make an impact with an upset of No. 4 Carroll Kuemper in Gowrie.
Another battle in 2A, District 7 will see East Sac County entertain South Central Calhoun, while No. 9 (8-man) Newell-Fonda looks to march back into the postseason with a win over Siouxland Whiting.
Here’s a look at those games, along with the entire slate of action around the area tonight:
No. 9 (Class 3A) Boone (7-1, 6-0) at No. 7 (3A) Webster City (7-1, 5-1)
It is very likely that both the Lynx and Toreadors had this week circled for several months now.
The squads enter as strong state contenders, as Boone has won seven in a row, and Webster City, five straight.
The Lynx have crushed the competition since a 31-25 loss to Gilbert in Week 3, outscoring opponents 212-30. Before the Gilbert defeat, they had bested North Central Conference rivals Humboldt and Clear Lake 97-28.
As one has come to expect from Bob Howard’s unit, the rushing attack is nearly unstoppable. Robert Frederiksen has 1,353 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Payton Kannuan has 700 yards and eight scores.
Overall, Webster City is second in the state in rushing with 3,181 yards. They are averaging almost eight yards per carry and have 41 rushing touchdowns.
Caleb Olson and Zane Williams lead a defensive unit that has recorded 17.5 sacks and 10 turnovers.
Boone’s offense is a one-man show in Tanner Schminke, as the senior has 1,180 passing yards and 15 TDs, while also running for a team-high 891 yards and 12 scores.
Schminke likes to spread it around, as three receivers have at least 25 catches and 321 yards led by Mason Hulse.
No. 4 (2A) Carroll Kuemper (7-1, 6-0) at Southeast Valley (6-2, 5-1)
The Jaguars have been tested all year long, and Mike Swieter’s crew can expect nothing short of another challenge this evening.
Before entering district play, Southeast Valley faced off with No. 4 (A) Bishop Garrigan on the road. They also played South Central Calhoun to a tough 16-14 defeat the following week.
Since that time, the Jaguars have won five in a row, including three straight games of scoring at least 40 points. They have surpassed 34 points in all seven wins this year.
Nolan Brand continues to lead the offensive attack, throwing for 1,520 yards on 77 of 140 passing. He has 19 touchdowns this year, including 14 to Dakota Jaeschke.
Jaeschke has 33 receptions and 802 yards, averaging 24.3 per catch. He is the sixth-leading receiver in the state in terms of yards and tied for third in TDs.
Junior Kaleb Jondle has only improved as the season has progressed, sitting at 792 yards and 11 scores. Aaron Swieter has another 509 and seven on the ground.
Jondle has three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances under his belt.
The Knights enter on a six-game win streak, having only lost to Council Bluffs St. Albert this year, 21-13. That includes a 13-point win over South Central Calhoun in their closest district affair to date.
Kuemper is led by quarterback Gage Gunnerson, who has 1,077 yards and 11 TDs, and running back Mile Rupiper, who has 688 yards on just 95 carries with eight TDs. Von Kraus and Gunnerson have combined for over 800 yards rushing and 15 scores.
South Central Calhoun (6-2, 5-1) at East Sac County (3-5, 3-3)
The postseason path is clear for Bryan Case and the Titans.
Defeat East Sac County and they get the runner-up spot out of the district. A loss, and it could be an interesting wait to see what the selection committee decides.
The Titans had picked up back-to-back wins over Underwood and Red Oak by a combined 86-14 since a loss to fourth-ranked Kuemper. They also have a 16-14 win over Southeast Valley from Week 3 in their pocket.
Junior Hunter Muhlbauer is completing 49 percent of his passes for 1,112 yards and 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions. His favorite target is senior Kody Case, who has 26 catches, 619 yards and 11 scores.
Case also leads the ground crew with 531 yards and seven scores. He’s also picked off three passes (returned one for a score), recovered three fumbles and taken a punt for a TD.
Trevor Aschinger ran for over a 100 yards last week for the Raiders in a loss to Kuemper. he has 410 on the season. Sam Scott has thrown for 912 yards and seven scores, connecting with Dylan Baumhover 31 times for 355 yards.
This game will be played at Wall Lake.
Siouxland Whiting (0-8, 0-6) at No. 9 (8-man) Newell-Fonda (6-2, 5-1)
Outside of a tough six-point loss to rival and fourth-rated Harris-Lake Park, the Mustangs have had little trouble in the district. That isn’t expected to change tonight as they welcome winless Siouxland Whiting.
Senior Reed Kruse has stepped right in and continued in the long line of talented Newell-Fonda quarterbacks, throwing for 703 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for a team-best 1,106 yards with 20 more TDs.
The Mustangs have scored at least 35 points in all but one district game this year, holding a plus 203-point advantage in their six league wins.
Jesse Haack anchors the N-F defense with 81.5 tackles. They have recorded 10 turnovers on the year.
Siouxland Whiting has not tallied 24 points in league play after scoring 96 in the two non-district games this fall.
Other area games: Humboldt (2-6, 1-5) at Lemars (5-3, 3-3); Greene County (1-7, 1-5) at Ballard (5-3, 3-3); Pocahontas Area (0-8, 0-6) at Sioux Center (4-4, 3-3); Hampton-Dumont (0-8, 0-6) at Clarion-Goldfield/Dows/CAL (4-4, 2-4); Emmetsburg (2-6, 2-4) at West Lyon (6-2, 4-2); South Hamilton (3-5, 3-3) at Eagle Grove (2-6, 2-4); Manson Northwest Webster (3-5, 2-4) at Ogden (1-7, 0-6); North Union (3-5, 2-4) at Sioux Central (3-5, 2-4); Graettinger-Terril/R-A (6-2, 4-2) at West Bend-Mallard (5-3, 3-3).