We have reached the final week of the regular season for high school football in Iowa. Here is how the area playoff scene shapes up:
CLASS 4A: MVC & MAC
Eleven of the 16 berths have been decided on the east side of the state in Class 4A, and six of those berths belong to MVC teams. Iowa City West (8-0) is the Mississippi Division champion while Cedar Rapids Xavier (8-0) reigns in the Valley Division. If all goes as projected, West will be the No. 2 seed (behind MAC champion Pleasant Valley) while Xavier will be No. 3. Cedar Falls has clinched home field for the opening round and is in line for the No. 4 seed with a win. The MVC’s Dubuque Senior (6-2), Cedar Rapids Prairie (5-3) and Waterloo East (5-3) are assured of playoff berths, as are Muscatine (6-2), Davenport Assumption (6-2), Bettendorf (5-3) and North Scott (5-3) of the MAC.
Davenport Central and Iowa City High are 4-4, and though neither are officially in yet, both can clinch with wins — and it would take an avalanche of upsets for either to miss the playoffs.
That leaves six teams wrangling for the final three spots, and four of them are 3-5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Linn-Mar lead those teams in playoff points, and Kennedy (which had won three straight games and plays at fading City High) is the most likely Week 9 winner. Linn-Mar travels to Xavier while Waterloo West is at Prairie and Burlington meets Pleasant Valley. Cedar Rapids Washington and Clinton are 2-6 and mathematically alive, but barely.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 5
Decorah (8-0, 5-0) is the champion while West Delaware (6-2, 4-1) has clinched the second spot and home field for Round 1. Western Dubuque (4-4, 3-2), Crestwood (3-5, 3-2) and Vinton-Shellsburg (3-5, 2-3) are wrestling for the final two spots. If Crestwood wins at Vinton, the Cadets are the third qualifier and Western Dubuque is No. 4, provided the Bobcats lose to Decorah. Vinton-Shellsburg can qualify with a win if Western Dubuque also wins, or a win of eight points or more regardless of Western Dubuque’s result.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 6
The math is simple if Marion (7-1, 5-0) goes to DeWitt Central (5-3, 4-1) on Friday and wins: The Indians would be district champions. Central claims the title with a win and a loss by Solon (6-2, 4-1), or a win by 11 points or more regardless of Solon’s outcome. The Spartans can’t win the district, but can place second with a win over Benton Community and a Central loss. Friday’s winner between Clear Creek Amana and Maquoketa (both 4-4, 2-3) snags the fourth spot.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 7
Williamsburg (7-1, 5-0) owns the district championship, and Washington (5-3, 4-1) is guaranteed second place while Keokuk (4-4, 3-2) is penciled in at third. Mount Pleasant (2-6, 2-3) grabs the fourth spot if it can win at Williamsburg; otherwise, the final slot likely belongs to Fairfield (2-6, 2-4).
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 3
Union (7-1, 5-0) has clinched the title, and the second position will be determined by Friday’s winner between New Hampton (7-1, 4-1) and Waukon (7-1, 4-1). Osage (4-4, 2-3) and Central Springs (2-6, 2-3) will decide the fourth spot at Manly.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 4
Dyersville Beckman leads the way at 7-1 and 5-0, and the Blazers are champions if they win Friday at Cascade (5-3, 4-1). The Cougars can take the title with a victory and if Center Point-Urbana (7-1, 4-1) is upset by Mount Vernon (5-3, 3-2). If Cascade and CPU win, the title will be decided by points: Beckman is currently at plus-52, CPU at plus-34 and Cascade plus-30. Mount Vernon (plus-19) could move all the way up to second with a win of eight-plus and a decisive loss by Cascade.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 5
This is easy to decipher. Mediapolis (8-0, 5-0) is the champion while the runner-up will be Friday’s winner between Mid-Prairie (6-2, 4-1) and West Liberty (5-3, 4-1). Louisa-Muscatine (4-4, 3-2) has wrapped up the final spot.
CLASS 1A DISTRICT 4
The four qualifiers have been determined, led by champion South Winneshiek (7-1, 5-0). Sumner-Fredericksburg (6-2, 4-1) has clinched the second spot while Saint Ansgar (6-2, 3-2) and Denver (4-5, 3-2) — which play this week — are the other two teams in.
CLASS 1A DISTRICT 5
Clayton Ridge is in the clubhouse at 6-2 and 5-1 with a non-district game remaining, but Maquoketa Valley (7-1, 4-1) can overtake the Eagles for the district title if it defeats winless North Cedar this week at Delhi. Tipton (5-3, 3-2) has wrapped up a slot, and Alburnett (4-4, 3-2) can join the party if it defeats the Tigers. If Alburnett loses and Durant (2-6, 2-3) beats Bellevue, then Durant is in.
CLASS 1A DISTRICT 6
The qualifiers have been determined, and barring a major upset, the order will be as follows: Iowa City Regina (8-0, 5-0), Wilton (6-2, 4-1), West Branch (6-2, 3-2) and Sigourney-Keota (4-4, 3-2).
CLASS A DISTRICT 3
Wapsie Valley (8-0, 6-0) is the champion while Starmont (6-2, 5-1) is the runner-up. North Butler (5-3, 4-2) also has assured itself a berth, with North Linn (4-4, 3-3) and Turkey Valley (3-5, 3-3) in the mix to qualify. North Linn is in with a win over North Butler (based on a points advantage on Turkey Valley), and the Trojans qualify with a win over winless Edgewood-Colesburg and a North Linn loss.
CLASS A DISTRICT 4
Despite getting tripped up last week, Belle Plaine (6-2, 4-1) plays for the district title at home this week against North Tama (7-1, 5-0). Both teams have qualified. So has Gladbrook-Reinbeck (4-4, 3-2), which is heavily favored to finish third by beating Garwin GMG this week. If Gladbrook-Reinbeck wins, Iowa Valley (5-3, 2-3) can get the fourth spot by beating Conrad BCLUW. Grundy Center (3-5, 3-3) is idle and must wait and watch Friday’s developments. The Spartans win if Gladbrook-Reinbeck loses or if Iowa Valley loses.
CLASS A DISTRICT 5
The champion will be determined Friday at Lone Tree, where defending state champion Lisbon (7-1, 6-0) faces Lone Tree (6-2, 6-0). WACO (6-2, 4-2) and Highland (5-3, 4-2) have qualified and meet at Riverside with third place on the line.
CLASS A DISTRICT 6
It’s a four-way tie for the lead, and all four co-leaders wrapped up berths long ago. The number of one-loss teams will be carved from four to two Friday, when Pekin (7-1, 5-1) visits BGM (6-2, 5-1) and Montezuma (6-2, 5-1) travels to Lynnville-Sully (6-2, 5-1). Four potential tie-breakers: Pekin would get it over Lynnville-Sully, which would get it over BGM, which would get it over Montezuma, which would get it over Pekin.
EIGHT-MAN DISTRICT 4
Preston (7-1, 7-0) is the champion while Springville (7-1, 6-1) has wrapped up its first playoff berth in school history, as well as a home game in the first round. West Central (6-3, 5-2) and Lansing Kee (6-2, 5-2) have captured the other two spots, and play for third place Friday at Lansing.
EIGHT-MAN DISTRICT 5
HLV (8-0, 7-0) takes a well-deserved bye week after wrapping up the championship in its first season of eight-man ball. Melcher-Dallas (6-1, 5-1) and Wayne (6-2, 5-2) also have qualified. The winner between Twin Cedars (4-4, 3-3) and Tri-County (2-6, 2-4) is likely to grab the other spot. Twin Cedars also can qualify if it loses by 12 points or less and if Meskwaki Settlement upsets Melcher-Dallas at Tama.