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Area teams kick into high gear

Photo by Troy Banning, for The Messenger Algona's Wyatt Wegener scores against Webster City last Friday.

The chase for state playoff berth begins for high school football teams across the state on Friday.

With four weeks of football under their belts — working out kinks and preparing for a more critical stretch — teams will begin district play tonight.

Some eight-man squads are entering their third week of league play, with the rest of the state gets the ball rolling this evening.

After a tight 34-33 loss to No. 3 Algona last week, Webster City (3-1, 0-0) looks to bounce back in a Class 3A, District 2 matchup against Carroll.

Pocahontas Area (2-2, 0-0) and Eagle Grove (0-4, 0-0) meet in an area contest, as will Southeast Valley (3-1, 0-0) and Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (1-3, 0-0).

Sixth-ranked (Class 1A) South Central Calhoun (4-0, 0-0) will host Ogden (1-3, 0-0).

West Bend-Mallard (2-3, 1-0) will play its second league game as they host ninth-ranked Harris-Lake Park (4-0, 2-0) in an eight-man affair.

Emmetsburg (2-2, 0-0) continues its tough stretch with is fourth ranked foe in five weeks. The E-Hawks beat then No. 9 Bishop Garrigan (Class A), but lost to No. 1 West Hancock (A) and No. 3 Algona (2A).

Emmetsburg squares off with No. 4 West Lyon (4-0, 0-0) on Friday.

Southeast Valley (3-1, 0-0) at Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (1-3, 0-0)

The Jaguars begin their trek for a second consecutive league title as they travel to face the Cowboys.

Southeast Valley had a strong opening four games, going 3-1 with their only loss coming to sixth-ranked South Central Calhoun. In the 2A, District 2 race, along with the Jaguars, Spirit Lake went 3-1 during the non-district portion. No. 3 Algona was undefeated in four contests.

Last week the Jaguars lost to the Titans, 38-7. The Jaguars struggled on the ground, but quarterback Hunter Kruse was a perfect 11-for-11 for 135 yards and a 61-yard touchdown pass to Kolson Kruse.

On the season Kruse is 20-for-49 throwing for 480 yards and five scores. He has hooked up with Chase Swieter and Kruse for two touchdown passes each and Carter Lane has the other. All three have over 100 yards on the season.

In the backfield, Lathe Muench has carried the ball 71 times for 415 yards and six scores.

Cowboy quarterback Christian Gaytan has thrown two TD strikes, and Shane Conlon has thrown one. Mateo Martinez has caught all three scores on 11 catches and 220 yards.

Trenton Jergenson is the leading rusher with 296 yards on 75 attempts and two scores.

Carroll (1-3, 0-0) at Webster City (3-1, 0-0)

After a tough setback against the Bulldogs, the Lynx look to get back on track against Carroll.

The Lynx fell to the Tigers last season 28-14 and their last victory was in 2015 when they won 35-26. Since 2014, the Tigers have won two of the three matchups.

In last week’s loss, the Lynx ran for 246 yards. Trey Mathis was the groundhog, carrying the ball 30 times for 152 yards and three scores. Quarterback Gabe Humphrey was 8-for-13 passing for 109 yards and two scores.

Mathis and Garrett Whitmore have been the workhorses for the Lynx. Mathis has 100 carries for 573 yards and 13 scores. Whitmore has 56 totes for 411 yards and three scores. Humphrey has thrown three touchdown passes.

For Carroll, quarterback Colby Vincent has thrown for 593 yards on 48 of 106 passing and scores. Tory Feldman has 14 catches, 225 yards and three scores, while Luke Woosley has 19 grabs for 210 and two TDs.

Ogden (1-3, 0-0) at No. 6 South Central Calhoun (4-0, 0-0)

South Central Calhoun has scored 143 points this season, but even more impressive is they’ve only given up 13. The defense hasn’t given up a single rushing score.

The Titans are looking for their second straight district title and third over the last four years.

Through four games, South Central Calhoun has given up 197 yards. Southeast Valley had 25 carries for negative-39 yards last week.

In the 38-7 victory over the Jaguars, South Central Calhoun used a balanced rushing attack with three backs having eight carries and over 40 yards each. Landon Schleisman had two touchdowns. Brennan Holder, Jordan Khommanyvong and Blake McAlister had one each.

Heading into the contest, seven different running backs have reached paydirt. Schleisman has four scores, while McAlister and Holder have three. Schleisman has 223 yards on 37 carries.

Cole Corey has thrown for 480 yards on 32 of 50 passing and three TDs.

Ogden is coming off its only victory of the season, knocking off Woodward Academy 52-7. Sam Christensen ran for 142 yards on 18 carries and four scores.

Christensen has 431 yards on 92 carries and eight touchdowns this season. Scott Westberg has ran for 222.

Christensen has also thrown for 500 yards and two scores.

No. 9 Harris-Lake Park (4-0, 2-0) at West Bend-Mallard (2-3, 1-0)

West Bend-Mallard struggled out of the gate, but after losing three straight, they come into Friday’s contest on a two-game win streak where they’ve scored a combined 112 points.

Last week they defeated Siouxland Christian 60-38 behind two 100-plus rushers. Creytan Grimm ran for 177 yards and Cole Thilges added 146. Breached the end zone three times each. Thilges also threw a touchdown.

Both Grimm (447) and Thilges (414) have over 400 yards and five and nine TDs respectively. Jared Schmidt has scored four times.

Thilges has thrown for 426 yards and eight scores.

Schmidt has four touchdowns receiving, while Levi Mogler and Michael Auten have three each. Mogler and Schmidt have caught 13 balls each, earning 235 and 138 yards, respectively.

Harris Lake-Park has outscored its opponents, 202-40.

Quarterback Brody Sohn is completing passes at a 75-percent rate (53 of 70). He has thrown for 1,020 yards and 18 TDs.

Isaac Ihnen has 26 grabs for 455 yards and 10 scores. Edgar Tapia has eight catches, six for touchdowns.

No. 4 West Lyon (4-0, 0-0) at Emmetsburg (2-2, 0-0)

It will be a tough district slate for the E-Hawks, as there are three ranked teams in Class 1A, District 1.

Emmetsburg will start with the Wildcats who are rated No. 4. They’ll have two weeks of no ranked opponents, then face No. 8 Western Christian and top-rated West Sioux.

The E-Hawks are coming off a 35-33 victory over Cherokee Washington, where Cole Shirk rushed for 215 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. Ben Dunlap threw a TD pass and also rushed for one.

Shirk has 325 yards (62 carries) and three scores, while Mason Griffin has 219 (65 carries) and two scores. Dunlap has thrown four touchdown passes, while Zach Foxhoven has two touchdown catches.

The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 176-34. Quarterback Jalyn Gramstad has thrown for 674 yards on 27 of 39 passing and seven scores.

Logan Meyer has rushed for 238 yards, and Gramstad has 201 yards rushing. They have six and four touchdowns, respectively, with Mason Maurer adding three.

Eagle Grove (0-4, 0-0) at Pocahontas Area (2-2, 0-0)

Eagle Grove is in its second stint of a six-game road stretch as they head to Pocahontas Area. The Eagles lost to South Hardin (67-0) and Pocahontas Area suffered a 28-6 setback to Alta-Aurelia.

Quarterback Trey Oehlertz is hitting a little over 50 percent of his passes, going 41-for-81 for 561 yards and four scores. Luke Crosgrove has been the main recipient, catching 14 balls for 202 yards and a score.

Cade Henrickson, Cooper Christians and Cole Runneberg have the other TDs.

On the ground Cage Arends has 56 totes for 226 yards and two scores. Oehlertz has carried the ball 34 times for 124 yards and one score.

The Eagles are led by Roberto Calles with 50 carries for 176 yards, and Joel Mendoza with 44 for 157. They have one and three TDs, respectively.

Other area games: Humboldt (0-4, 0-0) at Boone (0-4, 0-0); No. 3 Algona (4-0, 0-0) at Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (2-2, 0-0); Manson Northwest Webster (1-3, 0-0) at Alta-Aurelia (2-2, 0-0); No. 1 West Hancock (4-0, 0-0) at Bishop Garrigan (3-1, 0-0); North Union (2-2, 0-0) at Graettinger-Terril/R-A (0-4, 0-0); River Valley (1-3, 0-2) at Newell-Fonda (3-1, 1-0); No. 4 Greene County (4-0, 0-0) at Shenandoah (1-3, 0-0); No. 7 Treynor (4-0, 0-0) at East Sac County (1-3, 0-0).