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District play gets under way for area

Photo by Rick Thompson Caden Matson runs the ball for Humboldt against Storm Lake last Friday.

Teams dive head-first into district play this week, as the action and pressure begins to intensify.

With the schedule cut down to seven regular-season games, Class A-3A teams had two non-district games before facing district foes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these contests won’t carry as much clout for the postseason, but still could benefit programs when seeding rolls around.

Heading into Week 3, there are seven Messenger-area teams with unbeaten records.

In Class 3A, eighth-ranked Webster City and Humboldt are perfect. No. 2 (1A) South Central Calhoun, No. 6 (eight-man) Newell-Fonda, No. 7 (1A) Emmetsburg, Southeast Valley, and Pocahontas Area are 2-0.

Ballard (2-0) at No. 8 Webster City (2-0)

Tradition is holding true to form in Webster City. The Lynx have again put forth one of the strongest running games in the state.

In their two victories over Carroll and Spencer, Webster City has rushed for 704 yards — the second-best total in Class 2A, and sixth in Iowa.

Seniors Trey Mathis and Chase Rattenborg have been the main cogs. Mathis has accumulated 268 yards and three touchdowns. Rattenborg has 222 yards with 31 carries and two scores.

Sophomore C.J. Hisler has 21 totes for 111 yards and three TDs as well.

Ballard has victories over Carlisle (28-14) and North Polk (27-7). The Bombers have been balanced, running for 324 yards and throwing for 278.

Senior Sam Petersen has 156 yards and two scores, while quarterback Drew Connor has two TDs on the ground. Connor has thrown for 278 yards and four touchdowns.

Belmond-Klemme (1-0) at Southeast Valley (2-0)

The Jaguars have outscored their first two opponents 86-22, and are coming off a 32-22 win over IKM-Manning last Friday.

This week, the Jaguars host Belmond-Klemme for Homecoming.

Junior Lathe Muench has rushed for 116 yards and four touchdowns. Senior fullback Hunter Sorenson has three scores, and junior quarterback Kolson Kruse has two rushing TDs.

Kruse has been efficient through the air, connecting on 16 of 21 attempts for 237 yards and two scores. Last Friday, Kruse threw for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He also hit paydirt once on the ground.

The Broncos’ first contest against West Fork was canceled because of COVID-19. Last week, they picked up a 28-24 win over Lake Mills.

In their win, Belmond-Klemme rushed for 261 yards. Tate Sander rushed 97 yards and two scores. Quarterback Jordan Meyer also recorded a TD on the ground.

Meyer was 5-for-10 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown.

West Bend-Mallard (1-1) at No. 6 Newell-Fonda (2-0)

In one of three area matchups this week, the sixth-ranked Mustangs host the Wolverines, who suffered a 34-0 loss to Kingsley-Pierson last Friday.

N-F beat River Valley 42-26 behind 329 yards on the ground. Sophomore Ryan Greenfield ran for 144 yards and two scores, while junior Will Pitstick had two TDs.

Mason Dicks threw for a touchdown and senior Hunter Christansen had a rushing score for the Mustangs.

N-F has already rushed for 11 touchdowns, coming from five different backs. Pitstick leads the way with three. Senior Gabe Sievers, Dicks, sophomore Ryan Greenfield and Christansen have two TDs each.

It was a tough Week 2 for the Wolverines, who opened the year with a victory behind Creytan Grimm’s 78 yards and three scores. Senior Jared Schmidt ran for 150 yards on 33 carries and a TD.

Senior WB-M quarterback Cole Thilges threw a touchdown pass.

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

The Indians are coming off a 49-13 Senior Night victory over Manson Northwest Webster last Friday.

In that contest, senior Cole Runneberg ran for 143 yards on 18 carries. Runneberg scored three touchdowns, with a long of 54.

Senior quarterback Trey Oehlertz had 242 passing yards and two TDs. Senior Luke Crosgrove had seven catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

On the season, Runneberg has six touchdowns on 240 yards. Oehlertz has ran for 142 and three scores. He’s also racked up 393 yard through the air and two touchdown passes.

The Eagles are coming off a tight loss, falling 26-24 to West Central Valley. Junior Roberto Calles and freshman Jake Jeske both ran for a touchdown. Jeske threw for 62 yards and a score.

On the season Jeske, has accounted for four of the five Eagle touchdowns: three on the ground and one through the air.

Other area games: Humboldt (2-0) at Boone (0-2); Spirit Lake (0-2) at Algona (0-2); Atlantic (1-1) at Greene County (1-1); Treynor (1-1) at East Sac County (0-2); Hinton (0-1) at No. 7 Emmetsburg (2-0) ; Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (0-2) at No. 2 South Central Calhoun (2-0); Bishop Garrigan (0-2) at West Hancock (1-1).

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