Area squads set for playoffs

—Photo by Rick Thompson Humboldt quarterback Caden Matson runs the ball against Storm Lake. The Wildcats will begin postseason with a home contest against Sioux City Bishop Heelan.

In a crazy season with new guidelines and a new playoff format, the time to push for a state championship has arrived.

Fourteen Messenger-area teams will begin their postseason trek tonight while sixth-ranked Webster City (7-0 in Class 3A) and fifth-ranked Southeast Valley (7-0 in 1A) received a bye this week and will host a game next Friday.

There will be two area against area matchups in the opening round as Eagle Grove (0-5) will travel to ninth-ranked Emmetsburg (5-1) in 1A. Ninth-ranked Newell-Fonda (6-1) will host West Bend-Mallard (1-6).

Humboldt (4-3), Pocahontas Area (5-2), South Central Calhoun (5-1), Algona (3-3), Greene County (5-2) and East Sac County (2-5) will all have home games to open the season.

Pod winners with four teams will face off in the second round and teams with byes will face the winner in a three-team Pod.

After the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Pods will be readjusted for the next round of play.

Sioux City Bishop Heelan (1-6)

at Humboldt (4-3)

Third-year head coach Derrick Elman has helped Humboldt to its first winning season since a playoff berth in 2014.

In the shortend season, the Wildcats have put together a solid resume behind junior quarterback Caden Matson. In Humboldt’s three losses they have lost to teams with a combined record of 17-3 by a total of 26 points.

Matson has been a dual threat for the Wildcats, throwing for over 1,000 yards and rushing for over 700. Through the air he has completed 80 of 130 passes for 61 percent and eight touchdowns. Carrying the ball Matson has ran for 767 yards and 13 touchdowns with a long score of 84 yards.

Senior Gabe Gidel has been Matson’s main threat, catching 31 balls for 428 yards and five scores. Classmate Nyzier Evans has 23 catches.

Bishop Heelan quarterback Nathan Favors has thrown for 705 yards and six scores, while rushing for six touchdowns. Running back Devionne West has reached the end zone seven times with 485 yards.

Carroll Kuemper (1-6)

at Pocahontas Area (5-2)

Pocahontas Area’s lone blemishes on their resume came at the hands of then second-ranked South Central Calhoun and a last second defeat to fifth-ranked Southeast Valley with the district title on the line.

Senior quarterback Trey Oehlertz has thrown for over 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns. Oehlertz has also scored eight touchdowns on the ground for 475 yards.

Classmate Cole Runneberg has toted the ball 109 times for 751 yards and 11 scores. Senior Luke Crosgrove has six touchdown catches on 30 balls for 578 yards. Senior Mike Vonnahme has three touchdowns.

Kuemper’s Luke Hicks has three touchdown passes, while Tyler Vonnahme has 425 yards and three scores on the ground. Logan Sibenaller has five rushing scores.

Sioux Central (2-5) at

South Central Calhoun (5-1)

South Central Calhoun is coming off a 44-7 victory over Belmond-Klemme and will face Sioux Central in their first playoff contest.

The Titans have been a force on the ground, rushing for 1,530 yards and 24 scores. Blake McAlister has been the groundhog, running for 638 yards and nine touchdowns on 73 totes for an 8.7 yards per carry average.

Quarterback Cole Corey has scored seven touchdowns. Senior Brennan Holder has rushed for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Corey has thrown for 612 yards and five touchdown passes.

McAlister has caught 11 balls for 186 yards and two scores. Evan Jacobs, Blake Thompson, and Joshua Dietrich all have receiving touchdowns.

Sioux Central has rushed for 1,205 yards, paced by Jayden Harder’s 618 yards and five scores. Gibson Olson has run for 326 yards and four scores.

West Bend-Mallard (1-6)

at Newell-Fonda (6-1)

This is a rematch from Week 3 of the season for the district foes. The Mustangs picked up a 55-0 victory.

In the victory Newell-Fonda quarterback Gabe Sievers threw two touchdown passes and ran for one. Will Pitstick ran for two scores and the Mustangs rushed for 204 yards on the ground.

The Newell-Fonda defense held the Wolverines to just 43 yards of total offense.

On the season, Sievers has thrown for 593 yards and nine touchdowns, while rushing for 621 and 11 scores. Pitstick has seven scores, while Hunter Christiansen (five), Mason Dicks (four) and Ryan Greenfield (three) have also contributed to Newell-Fonda’s 30 rushing touchdowns.

Newell-Fonda’s lone loss of the season came at the hands of second-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s (30-28).

Senior Creytan Grimm has led the Wolverine ground attack with 388 yards and scores.

Other area playoff games: Cherokee Washington (1-3) at Algona (3-3); Red Oak (0-7) at Greene County (5-2); Eagle Grove (0-5) at Emmetsburg (5-1); Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (1-6) at Belmond-Klemme (3-3); Missouri Valley (1-6) at East Sac County (2-5); Manson Northwest Webster (0-6) at West Hancock (6-1); North Union (1-6) at West Fork (4-2); Bishop Garrigan (2-5) at Lake Mills (4-3).


(First Round games are on Oct. 16;

Second Round games on Oct. 24)


POD 2 (Second Round)

Fort Dodge (3-4) at Waterloo West (3-4)



Spencer (5-2), Bye

Sioux City Bishop Heelan (1-6) at Humboldt (4-3)


Webster City (7-0), Bye

Mason City (2-3) at Gilbert (4-2)



Okoboji (1-6) at Estherville-Lincoln Central (5-1)

Cherokee Washington (1-3) at Algona (3-3)

POD 16

Red Oak (0-7) at Greene County (5-2)

Shenandoah (3-4) at Clarinda (3-4)



Eagle Grove (0-5) at Emmetsburg (5-1)

Carroll Kuemper (1-6) at Pocahontas Area (5-2)


Southeast Valley (7-0), Bye

Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (1-6) at Belmond-Klemme (3-3)


Sioux Central (2-5) at South Central Calhoun (5-1)

Jesup (2-5) at Dike-New Hartford (5-2)

POD 16

OABCIG (7-0), Bye

Missouri Valley (1-6) at East Sac County (2-5)



Manson Northwest Webster (0-6) at West Hancock (6-1)

Madrid (2-3) at St. Edmond (5-2)


St. Ansgar (7-0), Bye

North Union (1-6) at West Fork (4-2)


Nashua-Plainfield (1-6) at South Winneshiek (6-1)

Bishop Garrigan (2-5) at Lake Mills (4-3)



West Bend-Mallard (1-6) at Newell-Fonda (6-1)

Ar-We-Va (3-4) at Kingsley-Pierson (3-4)


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