A dozen key area football games for Week 8:
CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE at CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Thursday, at Kingston Stadium
TV: KCRG 9.2
Records and rankings: Prairie is 4-3 overall, 2-2 MVC Valley Division; Washington is 2-5, 0-4.
Notable: It’s far from a given that 3-6 will be enough to get Washington into the playoffs, so — even with a should-win looming next week against Dubuque Wahlert — this is an extremely important game. The Warriors handled Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 34-21, last week. Prairie jumped all over Linn-Mar, 49-27, last week, and though the Hawks have virtually wrapped up a playoff berth, there is much to play for. Should the Hawks win out, there is a possibility of a first-round home game. Washington’s Mitch Bredeson is the Valley Division leader in rushing (597 yards) while Prairie’s Jarred Edmonds leads in receiving yards (746, on 26 catches).
CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER at CEDAR FALLS
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at UNI-Dome
Records and rankings: Class 4A fourth-ranked Xavier is 7-0 overall, 4-0 MVC Valley Division; No. 5 Cedar Falls is 7-0, 5-0.
Notable: The Valley Division championship goes to the winner. This is by far Xavier’s toughest test of the season; the Saints’ first seven opponents are a combined 12-37. Xavier is fourth in Class 4A in scoring offense (45.3 points per game) and second in scoring defense (8.9 ppg). Reggie Schulte is the most efficient big-school quarterback with a rating of 238.3 (73-percent completion rate, 1,236 yards, 24-to-3 TD-to-INT rate). Corbin Woods has 28 catches for 565 yards and 10 touchdowns. Cedar Falls hasn’t always been dominant this season, but the Tigers have been good enough to be 7-0. Ike Boettger leads the team in receiving, and also has two fumble recoveries.
IOWA CITY REGINA at WAPELLO
Time and site: 7 p.m. Friday, at Wapello
Records and rankings: Top-ranked Regina is 7-0 overall, 4-0 Class 1A District 6; Wapello is 4-3, 2-2.
Notable: Regina wraps up another district title if it can handle the Indians. The Regals boast a 35-game winning streak. Quarterback Mark Ward has passed for 914 yards and 16 touchdowns while Riley Dixon has rushed for 643 yards. Wapello is in the hunt for a playoff berth — the Indians are part of a three-team battle with West Branch and Sigourney-Keota for the final two slots. The Indians have won two straight games and are capable of scoring. They average 32.9 points per game.
CLEAR CREEK AMANA at MARION
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Thomas Park Field
Records and rankings: Clear Creek Amana is 4-3 overall, 2-2 Class 3A District 6; No. 7 Marion is 6-1, 4-0.
Notable: A playoff berth is in the bag, and now Marion has its sights set on a district championship thanks to a 24-14 showdown win over Solon last week. The Indians have been stingy defensively, holding six of seven opponents to 14 points or less. Trev Biery has been a bruising running back, netting 890 yards and 14 touchdowns. Clear Creek Amana has gone win-lose-win-lose through its first seven games. Konrad Moore has passed for 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns; Tanner Bandy is the leading receiver with 34 catches for 462 yards.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON at IOWA CITY WEST
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Trojan Field
Records and rankings: Jefferson is 1-6 overall, 1-3 MVC Mississippi Division; Class 4A No. 2 West is 7-0, 4-0.
Notable: Jefferson’s best hope might be for a West letdown after the Trojans whipped Iowa City High for The Boot last week, 44-0. The Trojans have the most prolific offense in Class 4A (52.3 points per game). West can do serious damage by land with Ezra Reiners, and by air with Matt Boland and receivers Dondre Alexander and Jeremy Morgan. The Trojans claim the Mississippi Division crown with a victory. Jefferson has struggled to get much going offensively this season; the J-Hawks are averaging about 9 points per game and does not yet have a touchdown pass.
IOWA CITY HIGH at LINN-MAR
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Linn-Mar Stadium
Records and rankings: City High is 4-3 overall, 3-2 MVC Mississippi Division; Linn-Mar is 2-5, 2-3.
Notable: With Cedar Rapids Xavier waiting next week, it’s pretty much win-or-else for Linn-Mar’s playoff hopes. The Lions were trampled by Cedar Rapids Prairie, 49-27, last week. It was 42-3 at halftime. City High has developed offensive problems lately; the Little Hawks were shut out in back-to-back games by Dubuque Senior (21-0) and Iowa City West (44-0). Amos Lavela has rushed for 605 yards and eight touchdowns. Rhys Davis leads Linn-Mar in passing (639 yards) and rushing (581). City High could still host a first-round playoff game if it runs the table and gets some help.
DUBUQUE HEMPSTEAD at CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium
Records and rankings: Hempstead is 0-7 overall, 0-5 MVC Mississippi Division; Kennedy is 2-5, 2-2.
Notable: Kennedy has gone through yet another midseason transformation, and the Cougars can significantly improve their playoff chances if they do the expected and beat the Mustangs for their third straight win. Alex Hillyer ranks No. 1 in the MVC — and No. 2 in Class 4A, period — in rushing, with 982 yards. He has rushed for nine touchdowns. Hempstead has put up reasonably good numbers in the last three weeks, but the Mustangs haven’t been able to stop anybody, allowing 50.3 points per game through that stretch.
UNION at NEW HAMPTON
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at New Hampton
Records and rankings: Seventh-ranked Union is 6-1 overall, 4-0 Class 2A District 3; No. 6 New Hampton is 7-0, 4-0.
Notable: A win would clinch the district title for Union. As for New Hampton, the championship would not be secure until next week, unless Waukon is upset Friday. This game pits two of the best scoring teams in Class 2A; Union ranks fourth at 43.1 points per game while New Hampton is seventh at 41.1 ppg. Union quarterback Jay Scheel ranks second in 2A in rushing/passing yards (2,167, with 26 total TDs) while Nic Peters is a ball hawk with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. New Hampton’s Brandon Tenge has rushed for 904 yards and 19 touchdowns while Noah Stochl has passed for 1,118 yards and 10 TDs.
STARMONT at WAPSIE VALLEY
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Fairbank
Records and rankings: Starmont is 6-1 overall, 5-0 Class A District 3; second-rated Wapsie Valley is 7-0, 5-0.
Notable: To the victor goes the district championship, regardless of what happens next week. Wapsie Valley slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 in this week’s Associated Press poll despite a 37-0 win over Turkey Valley. The Warriors have shut out five opponents and are allowing just 3.0 points per game. That leads the state in Class A, as does their offensive production (50.6 points per game). Tyler Odneal has rushed for 979 yards and 15 touchdowns. Starmont has won six straight games after a season-opening loss to Maquoketa Valley. The Stars have four backs with at least 390 yards, and have opened up their offense somewhat. Alan Hayes has 25 receptions for 284 yards.
CENTER POINT-URBANA at CASCADE
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Cascade
Records and rankings: Center Point-Urbana is 6-1 overall, 3-1 Class 2A District 4; Cascade is 5-2, 4-0.
Notable: If Cascade wins the 2A-4 title, the Cougars will earn it in the final two weeks. They host CPU in a coin-flip game Friday, then close out the regular season next week at home against Dyersville Beckman. CPU still has title aspirations if it can beat the Cougars and if Cascade can topple Beckman next week. Cascade’s Timmie Kleitsch is the district leader in passing yards — he has thrown for 1,420 yards and 17 touchdowns. Teammate Jared Manternach is the tackle leader in 2A, with 101. The potential is there for a lot of points: Both teams score in the 30s and allow about 20 points per game.
MAQUOKETA VALLEY at TIPTON
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Tipton
Records and rankings: Maquoketa Valley is 6-1 overall, 3-1 Class 1A District 5; Tipton is 5-2, 3-1.
Notable: Maquoketa Valley is the one team in a tightly bunched 1A-5 that has destiny in its own hands for a district title. Crown the Wildcats if they win out. Tipton can win the title if it wins out and in the unlikely event that Clayton Ridge stumbles against winless North Cedar on Friday. Both teams have a player with a keen nose for the ball: Maquoketa Valley’s Carter Funke is tied for third in Class 1A with six interceptions while Tipton’s Benji Thomas is tied for fifth with three fumble recoveries.
WILLIAMSBURG at VINTON-SHELLSBURG
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Vinton
TV: KCRG 9.2
Records and rankings: Williamsburg is 6-1; Vinton-Shellsburg is 3-4.
Notable: The first team in the area to wrap up a district championship, Williamsburg steps out of 3A-7 play for a non-district encounter. Chance Miller has rushed for 719 yards while Aaron Schultz has six interceptions to his credit. It’s the third straight game against grueling competition for Vinton-Shellsburg, which lost their last two games to Decorah and West Delaware. Grant Sagan has passed for 564 yards and has intercepted three passes.
OTHER METRO/IOWA CITY GAMES
Elkader Central (1-7 overall, 1-6 Eight Man District 4) vs. Cedar Valley Christian (0-7, 0-6), 7 p.m. Friday, at LaSalle Middle School
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