Two weeks remain in the prep football season. Here is a primer on where things stand in the area as Week 8 approaches:
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY CONFERENCE
Four teams have clinched playoff berths: Iowa City West (7-0, 4-0) and Dubuque Senior (6-1, 3-1) in the Mississippi Division, and Cedar Falls (7-0, 5-0) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (7-0, 4-0) in the Valley. Friday’s Cedar Falls-Xavier winner is the Valley Division champion, and West takes the Mississippi if it beats Cedar Rapids Jefferson or if Senior loses to Waterloo East. It’s virtually assured that Iowa City High, Waterloo East and Cedar Rapids Prairie — all 4-3 — will qualify, and all will probably clinch playoff berths this week, regardless of outcome. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Waterloo West, Linn-Mar and Cedar Rapids Washington (all 2-5) can play themselves in — or out — in the final two weeks.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 5
Decorah (7-0, 4-0) needs one win in its final two games to win the title, and the Vikings are heavily favored to wrap it up with a win at Oelwein on Friday. The Week 8 winner between West Delaware (5-2, 3-1) and Crestwood (3-4, 3-1) wraps up a home-field first-round game. WD has clinched a playoff berth; Crestwood has not. Western Dubuque (3-4, 2-2) and Vinton-Shellsburg (3-4, 2-3) remain in playoff contention.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 6
Marion (6-1, 4-0) has a playoff berth sewn up while Solon (5-2, 3-1) and DeWitt Central (4-3, 3-1) can clinch berths with wins Friday. Both still have district-title hopes. The Week 9 winner between Clear Creek Amana and Maquoketa (both 4-3, 2-2) likely snags the other spot.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 7
Williamsburg (6-1, 5-0) has clinched the championship. Washington (4-3, 3-1) is as good as in; the Demons face the bottom two teams in the final two weeks. Friday’s winner between Keokuk (3-4, 2-2) and Mount Pleasant (2-5, 2-2) is in good shape, with Fairfield (2-5, 2-3) still firmly in the mix.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 3
The champion could be determined Friday at LaPorte City, where Union (6-1, 4-0) hosts New Hampton (7-0, 4-0). If Union wins, the Knights are the champs. A New Hampton win probably would prolong the title chase to Week 9, when the Chickasaws travel to Waukon (6-1, 3-1). Each of those three teams are in the playoffs. The other qualifier probably will be determined in Week 9, when Central Springs (2-5, 2-3) hosts Osage (3-4, 1-3).
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 4
Three teams have qualified, and all still have title hopes. Cascade (5-2, 4-0) hosts both of the other two contenders in the final two weeks — against Center Point-Urbana (6-1, 3-1) Friday, then against Dyersville Beckman (6-1, 4-0) next week. Mount Vernon (4-3, 2-2) is a qualifier if it wins at Camanche (2-5, 1-4) this week.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 5
Mediapolis (7-0, 4-0) is on its way to the championship while West Liberty (4-3, 4-1) and Mid-Prairie (5-2, 3-1) will haggle over the second spot (and a home date in Round 1) next week at Wellman. Louisa-Muscatine (3-4, 2-2) can claim the other spot if it beats winless Central Lee on Friday at Donnellson.
CLASS 1A DISTRICT 4
South Winneshiek (6-1, 4-0) is on its way to the district title. The Warriors wrap it up if they beat MFL MarMac this week or Jesup next week. Saint Ansgar (6-1, 3-1) is a qualifier, and Sumner-Fredericksburg (5-2, 3-1) and Denver (4-4, 3-2) are close to clinching, but both still have challenging remaining schedules. North Fayette (3-4, 1-3) still has a sliver of hope.
CLASS 1A DISTRICT 5
There is a lot yet to be determined here. This is sure: Maquoketa Valley is the team with the ball in its court. If the Wildcats (6-1, 3-1) win out, they are district champions. If they lose at Tipton (5-2, 3-1) on Friday, then Clayton Ridge (5-2, 4-1) is the champion if it beats winless North Cedar at Stanwood. Alburnett (3-4, 2-2), Durant (2-5, 2-3) and Bellevue (3-4, 1-3) are pursuing the final slot.
CLASS 1A DISTRICT 6
The winner of 35 straight games, Iowa City Regina (7-0, 4-0) takes the title if it runs the streak to 36 with a win at Wapello (4-3, 2-2). Wilton (5-2, 4-1) is qualifier, and West Branch (4-3, 2-2) has an easy schedule the rest of the way and should nail down a berth. Sigourney-Keota (3-4, 2-2) is a good bet to qualify if it wins at least one of its last two games.
CLASS A DISTRICT 3
The title is on the line Friday at Fairbank, where Wapsie Valley (7-0, 5-0) does battle with Starmont (6-1, 5-0). Both teams are playoff qualifiers. North Butler (4-3, 3-2) is sitting well if it can split or better in its last two games, and the Bearcats will be favored to win this week against Edgewood-Colesburg. North Linn (3-4, 2-3), Postville (2-5, 2-3) and Turkey Valley (2-5, 2-3) are likely to chase the final berth. Turkey Valley hosts Postville this week in a pivotal game.
CLASS A DISTRICT 4
A Week 9 showdown at Belle Plaine between Belle Plaine (6-1, 4-0) and North Tama (6-1, 4-0) determines the titlist. Both have qualified. It’s a tricky three-team battle for the final two spots and it will come down to points if all finish 3-3, which is certainly possible. Right now, Grundy Center (3-4, 3-2) and Gladbrook-Reinbeck (3-4, 2-2) hold the edge over Iowa Valley (5-3, 2-3), but the Spartans and the Rebels still have a game against the current co-leaders.
CLASS A DISTRICT 5
If defending state champion Lisbon (6-1, 5-0) can get past Highland (5-2, 4-1) on Friday, it will set up a winner-take-all scenario for the Lions next week at Lone Tree (5-2, 5-0). These three teams have qualified, and WACO (5-2, 3-2) can join the party if it wins at home Friday against winless New London.
CLASS A DISTRICT 6
All four qualifiers have been determined, and it’s all about positioning now. Montezuma (6-1, 5-0) holds the lead as of now, but still has rugged tests ahead against BGM (5-2, 4-1) this week and Lynnville-Sully (5-2, 4-1) in Week 9. BGM hosts Pekin (6-1, 4-1) in its finale nest week.
EIGHT-MAN DISTRICT 4
High-scoring Preston (6-1, 6-0) is the leader and faces the bottom two teams in the final two weeks, so pencil the Trojans in as district champions. After that, it gets murky. West Central (6-2, 5-1) will play a big role in determining the district’s other three qualifiers. The Blue Devils host Springville (6-1, 5-1) this week, then travel to Lansing Kee (5-2, 4-2) in Week 9. With some help, Midland (4-4, 4-3) can re-enter the mix with a Week 9 win over Springville.
EIGHT-MAN DISTRICT 5
HLV (7-0, 6-0) concludes its regular season Friday with a home date with Wayne (6-1, 5-1). A win means a district title for the Warriors. Wayne and Melcher-Dallas (6-1, 5-1) are in the playoffs, and the fourth spot will be determined next week at Bussey, where Twin Cedars (3-4, 2-3) hosts Tri-County (2-5, 2-3).