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Prep Spotlight Week 9: Playoff implications around area

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

Third-ranked Algona and sixth-ranked South Central Calhoun will return to the playoffs, hoping to take unbeaten records into the field.

The Bulldogs (8-0 overall, 4-0 district) will host Southeast Valley (5-3, 2-2) and the Titans (8-0, 4-0) will entertain Pocahontas Area (5-3, 3-1).

After a two-year hiatus, the Bulldogs will be playing in their second straight playoffs and their eighth appearance overall.

The Titans have continued to keep their playoff momentum alive, qualifying for their seventh straight trip. They have advanced to the second season for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons. As South Central Calhoun they have nine berths but before consolidation as Southern Cal, they had eight trips with a 25-4 record and four state championships.

The Bulldogs are sitting second in Class 2A in RPI. With an upset, the Jaguars, who are 14th, could claim a playoff berth.

The Jaguars denied Algona the Class 2A, District 2 title a season ago with a victory in the last contest, but the Bulldogs will look to jump on top.

The Titans are ninth in RPI and the Indians are currently 26th. South Central Calhoun, who is looking for its fourth district title since 2014, beat the Indians in the finale last season to secure the district championship.

Both the Bulldogs and Titans won their first playoff game in 2018, but then lost in the quarterfinals.

Area teams inside the Top-30 are 1A Emmetsburg (22nd), Class A Bishop Garrigan (24th), eight-man Newell-Fonda (25th) and Class 3A Webster City (29th).

With a victory over Boone, the Lynx would move to 6-3, but would likely miss a playoff spot. The Class 3A, District 2 title will be up for grabs when league unbeatens No. 10 Dallas Center-Grimes host unbeaten Carroll.

Southeast Valley (5-3, 2-2) at No. 3 Algona (8-0, 4-0)

This was a much different story a season ago as both teams were undefeated in district play and the Bulldogs hadn’t lost a contest. Southeast Valley came away with the district championship in a tight 42-41 game.

For Algona, its the same situation. eight victories through their campaign. Their closes contests of the season were a one-point victory over Webster City and a two-point win over 2018 state qualifier Spirit Lake last week.

Against Spirit Lake, senior Wyatt Wegener had another big contest, rushing for 140 yards and three touchdowns, with a long of 65. Garrett Schmidt and sophomore quarterback Tyler Manske also ran for scores. Manske was 8-for-13 passing for 105 yards.

Heading into last week Southeast Valley had lost two straight games, failing to reach the endzone in losses to Spirit Lake (45-0) and Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (3-0). But the Jaguars turned the right direction against Estherville-Lincoln Central, picking up a 24-8 victory.

Senior Hunter Kruse was 4-for-7 behind center for 114 yards and an 80-yard touchdown strike to Kolson Kruse. Sophomore Lathe Muench and freshman Carl Berglund had rushing touchdowns.

On the season Wegener has been one of the top players in Class 2A. He has rushed for 1,031 yards on 65 carries, a 15.9 per carry average. He has reached paydirt on 18 occasions. He also has 21 catches for 529 yards (25.2) per grab and five scores.

He has returned two punts for touchdowns and has accounted for 25 touchdowns. He has 98 touches overall and 1,841 yards, giving him 18.8 per touch.

The Titans have rushed for 36 touchdowns. Senior Garrett Schmidt has seven, while classmate Sammonte Bawden and Manske have four each. Schmidt and Bawden have over 400 yards rushing. Manske has thrown for 1,045 yards and 10 scores.

For Southeast Valley, Hunter Kruse has tossed for 786 yards and nine scores. Sophomore Kolson Kruse has 11 catches for 290 and five scores.

On the ground Muench has carried the ball 131 times for 605 yards and eight touchdowns.

Pocahontas Area (5-3, 3-1) at No. 6 South Central Calhoun (8-0, 4-0)

The Titans have ran like a well-oiled machine on the ground, rushing for 2,252 yards and 38 touchdowns. They have also thrown for 808 yards and seven scores.

As scary as their offense is, their defense has been just as stout. The Titans have outscored their opponents 333-34. They have given up five touchdowns, only one on the ground.

They have given up 1,145 yards on the season (589 passing, 673 rushing). An average of 73 through the air and 84 on the ground per contest.

Five different running backs have four or more touchdowns. Landon Schleisman is the leader with 11 and 525 yards. Blake McAlister has 479 yards and six scores, while Brennan Holder has five and Keagen Meyer and Cole Corey have four each.

Corey has thrown for 706 yards and six scores. Zane Neubaum has 11 catches for 233 yards and a score.

Junior quarterback Trey Oehlertz has accounted for 15 touchdowns. He has thrown for 1,014 yards and seven scores and rushed for 587 and eight touchdowns. Senior Cage Arends is the leading rusher with 881 yards on 134 carries and 13 touchdowns.

Other area games: Boone (1-7, 1-3) at Webster City (5-3, 2-2); Humboldt (1-7, 1-3) at Perry (0-8, 0-4); Estherville-Lincoln Central (3-5, 1-3) at Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (1-7, 0-4); Eagle Grove (0-8, 0-4) at South Hamilton (5-3, 3-1); MVAOCOU (1-7, 0-4) at East Sac County (3-5, 2-2); No. 4 West Sioux (7-1, 3-1) at Emmetsburg (3-5, 1-3); Graettinger-Terril/R-A (1-7, 1-3) at Bishop Garrigan (5-3, 2-2); West Fork (4-4, 2-2) at North Union (2-6, 0-4); Newell-Fonda (5-3, 3-2) at West Bend-Mallard (2-7, 1-4).