District crowns on the line
Six Messenger-area teams control their own destiny on Friday night.
Third-ranked South Central Calhoun (8-0, 4-0) will clinch the Class 1A, District 2 championship if they beat Pocahontas Area (4-4, 3-1). If the Indians upset the Titans, there would be a three-way tie at the top with South Hamilton.
The Hawks will earn a forfeit victory this week and finish 7-2.
OABCIG (7-1, 3-1) travels to Greene County (7-1, 3-1) to detrmine the Class 2A, District 9 crown. The loser will be out of the title chase.
Carroll Kuemper also has three league wins, so a Kuemper victory and the winner of this contest will advance to the playoffs.
West Sioux (7-1, 4-0) is unbeaten in Class 1A, District 1 and aEmmetsburg (4-4, 3-1) is just .500 on the season, but with three district wins, if they upset West Sioux, they’ll force at least tie.
Bishop Garrigan (8-0, 3-0) is in line to win the Class A, District 3 championship with a win over Graettinger-Terril.
West Bend-Mallard (5-3, 4-2) at Newell-Fonda (7-1, 5-1) is an intriguing matchup. With a victory, the Mustangs, who are 10th in eight-man RPI, are more than likely in. The Wolverines are sitting 20th and have an outside shot if they top the Mustangs.
No. 4 SC Calhoun (8-0, 4-0)
at Pocahontas Area (4-4, 3-1)
Brian Case has built a perirenal postseason power at South Central Calhoun and the Titans are looking for their sixth straight appearance and eighth at the school.
Before consolidation, Southern Cal won state championships in 1990, 2000, 2008 and 2009. Case coached the 08 and 09 teams.
Since 2014, the Titans are 42-11 overall, four of those wins coming in the playoffs, and 27-4 in district play, with two district titles.
The Titan defense has been a force to reckon with, only giving up 34 points in eight games played. SCC has put forth a suffocating defensive effort, shutting out two opponents and only allowing five touchdowns on the year.
They’ve picked off 14 passes and recovered six fumbles. The Titans have six defensive touchdowns and one kickoff return for a score, while kicking three field goals.
The Titan offense has scored 279 points, an average of 34.8.
Since junior quarterback Josh Henkenius went down with a broken collarbone, sophomore Cole Corey has taken over and thrown for 401 yards and three touchdowns.
Keagen Meyer has led the ground attack with 515 yards and nine touchdowns. Landon Schleisman has ran for 354 yards and six scores and Chase McAlister has ran for 287 and four scores.
The Indians struggled to start the season, dropping three of their first four contests, but have put together a solid 3-1 district record, knocking off Madrid 35-8 last week.
Quarterback Trey Oehlertz has led the offensive attack, throwing for 673 yards and seven scores. Oehlertz has rushed for 356 yards and three scores. Cage Arends leads the ground game with 462 yards and four scores.
Jamison Frerk is the leading receiver with 202 yards on 15 catches and two scores.
The Indians’ last playoff appearance was in 2015.
No. 10 OABCIG (7-1, 3-1) at
No. 9 Greene County (7-1, 3-1)
The winner of this contest will be a district champion, it’s just a matter if they will share with Carroll Kuemper. With a loss to Shennadoah the Knights will miss the playoffs.
The Rams enter with a balanced offense, as Brent Riley has thrown for 1,672 yards and 17 touchdowns and the team has rushed for 1,492 yards.
On the ground, Clint Dennhardt has rushed for 698 yards and Colby Kafer has 647. They have 12 and eight touchdowns, respectively.
OABCIG’s Kaden Ladwig is a threat on the ground and through the air. The quarterback has thrown for 2,377 yards (fourth in the state) and 25 touchdowns (best in 2A). He has rushed for 279 and 12 scores.
His combined passing and rushing yards (2,656) only trails Fort Dodge’s Drake Miller on the state charts. His 37 total touchdowns is fourth best in the state.
Quintin Cranston has caught 27 balls for 725 yards and has scored eight touchdowns. Cooper Dejean has 50 receptions (fourth in 2A), 695 yards and 10 scores.
Emmetsburg (4-4, 3-1) at
No. 5 West Sioux (7-1, 4-0)
After dropping four of their first five contests, Emmetsburg has come on strong, winning their last three and outscoring their opponents by an average of 26 points.
West Sioux lost its first game of the season and has reeled off seven straight wins, including three shutouts.
The E-Hawks will be looking for their 41st state appearance and first since 2015.
Emmetsburg boasts a backfield with two 800-plus rushers. Corbin Saathoff has ran for 963 yards and six scores and Nicholas Schany has 805 yards and 12 scores.
Connor Joyce has 442 passing yards and six scores.
West Sioux quarterback Hunter Dekkers has done it through the air and on the ground. Dekkers has thrown for 2,043 yards (2nd in 1A) and 28 touchdowns (1st in 1A, fourth in the state) and has ran for 33 and four. Kade Lynott is the leading rusher with 552 and six.
Lynott is also the main threat in the passing game, catching 39 balls for 910 yards (best in 1A, fifth in the state), while Chase Koopmans has 44 grabs for 658. They have 11 touchdowns each, which is second best in Class 1A.
No. 3 Bishop Garrigan (8-0, 3-0)
at Graettinger-Terril (2-6, 1-3)
With a victory, Bishop Garrigan will clinch its fourth straight district championship, dating back to 2015.
The Golden Bears have currently won 35 straight regular season games and 24 district contests in a roll.
They have reached the playoffs 14 straight times and 25 overall as a school.
Senior quarterback Brad Capesius, who is 29-2 as the starting quarterback, has 51 touchdowns, 31 of those coming through the air.
He has thrown for 534 yards and seven touchdowns this season and has ran for 541 yards and 10 scores.
Preston Kohlhaas is the leading rusher with 701 on the ground and eight scores on 107 attempts.
For Graettinger-Terril, Jace Naig has 553 yards on the ground and four touchdowns and has thrown for 222 yards and two scores.
West Bend-Mallard (5-3, 4-2)
at Newell-Fonda (7-1, 5-1)
Newell-Fonda, who has the second longest playoff in the Messenger-area at nine, will likely advance with a victory, sitting at No. 10 in the RPI system.
West Bend-Mallard is currently 20th.
Newell-Fonda junior quarterback Bryce Coppock has a combine 2,017 yards on the ground (1,218) and through the air (799).
He also has a combined 28 touchdowns, 17 on the ground and 11 passing.
Tanner Gerke has five rushing touchdowns and Hunter Christiansen has four.
For West Bend-Mallard, senior Lincoln Fehr has 27 combined touchdowns. He has thrown for 897 yards and 15 scores, while rushing for 546 and 12.
Hunter Jergens has ran for 555 and scores.
West Bend-Mallard hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since 2015.
Other area games: Perry (0-8, 0-4) at Humboldt (3-5, 2-2); Webster City (4-4, 2-2) at Boone (5-3, 3-1); Estherville-Lincoln Central (2-6, 0-4) at Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (2-6, 0-4); East Sac County (4-4, 2-2) at MVAOCOU (1-7, 0-4); North Union (2-6, 1-3) at West Fork (3-5, 0-4).