October arrives for area

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Kyler Fisher of Southeast Valley runs the ball last month against South Central Calhoun.

With the playoffs just around the corner, Messenger-area teams are trying to move forward and play their best football down the stretch.

Three squads look to stay unbeaten in district play, with some of their biggest league contests on the horizon.

Ninth-ranked (Class 2A) South Central Calhoun (4-0 district, 5-1 overall) will travel to winless Underwood (0-4, 0-6), while streaking East Sac County (4-0, 4-2) travels to Clarinda (2-2, 2-4). Both the Titans and Raiders are atop the Class 2A, District 7 standings with unbeaten records, while Carroll Kuemper is right behind with one league loss.

After this week’s matchup, the Raiders will have the toughest portion of their schedule, hosting Kuemper then traveling to face the Titans. Kuemper’s lone loss is to SCC.

No. 5 (Class A) Bishop Garrigan (4-0, 6-0) hosts Ridge View (3-1, 4-2). Garrigan is the lone unbeaten in Class A, District 2.

Hartley-HMS, Sioux Central and Ridge View are all 3-1 in the district. After Friday’s match up against Ridge View the Golden Bears will travel to HMS and host St. Edmond to round out the regular season.

Fifth-rated (8-man) Newell-Fonda (3-1, 5-1), Webster City (3-1, 5-1) and Emmetsburg (3-1, 3-3) are still fighting to keep pace in their respective district races.

A few squads sitting at 2-2 have outside chances of earning playoff berths.

No. 6 Harris-Lake Park (2-1, 4-1) at No. 5 Newell-Fonda (3-1, 5-1)

Newell-Fonda finds itself in a ranked showdown for the second time in the last three weeks. The Mustangs lost to No. 2 Remsen St. Mary’s two weeks ago, before bouncing back in a big way last week with a 66-6 victory over Clay Central Everly.

This Friday, the Mustangs will tangle with No. 6 Harris-Lake Park. The Wolves have won two straight.

Seniors Jesse Haack and Austin Gerdes lead the Mustangs’ rushing attack. Haack has run for 750 yards and 11 touchdowns. Gerdes has racked up 471 yards and seven scores. They average 8.7 and 10.0 yards per carry, respectively.

Quarterbacks Bryce Coppock and Cody Holtgrewe have combined to throw seven touchdowns.

Nate Pedersen is the leading receiver, catching eight passes for five scores.

The Wolves are paced by quarterback Bryce Perkins. The senior has thrown for 873 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Bret Sohn and Dalton Nicks are Perkins’ leading targets. Sohn has 19 catches for 326 yards, and Nicks has 14 for 200. They have five TDs each.

The Wolves have thrown for 894 yards and rushed for 716.

Ridge View (3-1, 4-2) at No. 5 Bishop Garrigan (4-0, 6-0)

The Golden Bear offense has been on a tear lately, scoring 77 points in their last two contests. They’ve outscored their opponents 176-31 season.

Garrigan has been running all over the field, racking up 1,511 yards on the ground and throwing for 394 yards.

Senior Drew Bacha has rushed for 640 yards and 11 touchdowns. Quarterback Brad Capesius has 308 yards on the ground, and Sam Vaske has 295.

Capesius has thrown for 394 yards and six scores.

Ridge View has ran for 1,337 yards, led by senior Jake Mitchell and junior Jake Kliegl. Mitchell has run for 664 yards, and Kliegl has 430.

Heading into Friday’s action, three schools have one district loss: Ridge View, HMS and Sioux Central.

Madrid (2-2, 2-4) at Eagle Grove (2-2, 4-2);

Panorama (1-3, 3-3) at Manson Northwest Webster (2-2, 3-3)

Eagle Grove still has an outside chance of reaching the playoffs, but they have to win out and they need help.

No. 2 Van Meter has all but wrapped up the Class 1A, District 6 crown, and South Hamilton is sitting in second place at 3-1. Madrid, Manson Northwest Webster and the Eagles are all 2-2 in the district.

After Friday’s contest, the Eagles will face 1-3 Ogden and travel to South Hamilton for their final contest.

Madrid hosts MNW, and then travels to Van Meter. The Cougars, meanwhile, finish at home against Ogden.

The Eagles boast a strong rushing attack, led by three seniors. Brayden Lyman (490), Ethan Anderson (423) and Niko Padilla (313) are the driving force behind the Eagles.

Lyman and Padilla have rushed for four touchdowns each, while Anderson has two.

Lyman has thrown for 476 yards and six TDs. Ryan Smith has 208 yards receiving and three scores, while Padilla has 160 and two touchdowns.

The Cougars enter their contest against Panorama with a balanced attack at 746 throwing and 834 on the ground.

Junior quarterback Derek Girard has thrown for 746 yards and six scores. Senior Keegan Pritchard has caught 25 passes for 367 yards and five TDs.

The Cougars are led by seniors Reid Steinberg, Mark Condon and Blake Larsen. Steinberg leads the way with 311 yards, while Condon and Larsen have 257 and 191, respectively. Larsen has six touchdowns and Steinberg has three, while Condon has one.

Other games: Algona (1-3, 3-3) at Sioux City Heelan (2-2, 4-2); Webster City (3-1, 5-1) at Perry (1-3, 2-4); Pocahontas Area (0-4, 0-6) at Estherville-LC (0-4, 1-5); Clarion-Goldfield-Dows/CAL (0-4, 0-6) at No. 6 Clear Lake (4-0, 5-1); East Sac County (4-0, 4-2) at Clarinda (2-2, 2-4); Shenandoah (0-4, 0-6) at Southeast Valley (2-2, 2-4); No. 9 South Central Calhoun (4-0, 5-1) at Underwood (0-4, 0-6) ; Emmetsburg (3-1, 3-3) at Alta-Aurelia (1-3, 2-4); West Bend-Mallard (1-3, 3-3) at Siouxland Whiting.