A dozen key area football games for Week 9:
IOWA CITY WEST at WATERLOO EAST
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Waterloo
Records and rankings: Class 4A second-ranked West is 8-0 overall, 5-0 MVC Mississippi Division; East is 5-3, 3-2.
Notable: West has absolutely steamrolled through the regular season, piling up a 4A-best 54.6 points per game, and the Trojans have eclipsed the 70-point mark in two of the last three weeks. West is capable of scoring from anywhere on the field, thanks to playmakers like receivers Dondre Alexander and Jeremy Morgan, as well as running back Ezra Reiners. East has won four of its last five games, including a mild upset of Dubuque Senior last week, 31-21. East’s four games have been decided by 10 points or less, but will be hard-pressed to stay close to the Trojans.
MARION at DE WITT CENTRAL
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at DeWitt
Records and rankings: No. 7 Marion is 7-1 overall, 5-0 Class 3A District 6; Central is 5-3, 4-1.
Notable: After a disappointing 2011, Marion has rebounded extremely well and stands on the cusp of a district championship. Trev Biery has been a bruising back and needs just 26 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. He also is among Marion’s leading tacklers and has intercepted two passes (both for touchdowns). Central has title aspirations of its own. The Sabers clinch the district crown with a win of 11 points or more, and with any victory in the event that Solon loses. The Sabers are coached by former Lone Tree coach Mike Miller and are led by backs Chris Keitel (921 yards) and Mitch Green (636).
SIGOURNEY-KEOTA at IOWA CITY REGINA
Time and site: 7 p.m. Friday, at Regina
Records and rankings: Sigourney-Keota is 4-4 overall, 3-2 Class 1A District 6; No. 1 Regina is 8-0, 5-0.
Notable: Regina has clinched the 1A-6 championship and has run its winning streak to 36 games. The Regals have shut out three opponents and held another to a single touchdown. It’s a balanced defense, with five players between 40 and 47 tackles, led by sophomore Jake Brinkman. Riley Dixon has rushed for 1,002 yards and eight touchdowns. Like always, Sigourney-Keota rides its running attack. The Savage Cobras are led by Colton Greiner (922 rushing yards, nine touchdowns).
LINN-MAR at CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Saints Field
Records and rankings: Linn-Mar is 3-5 overall, 2-3 MVC Valley Division; Class 4A No. 3 Xavier is 8-0, 5-0.
Notable: Last year, Linn-Mar took an unbeaten record into a Week 9 battle with the Saints and rolled. This year, it’s Xavier’s turn to flirt with perfection. The Saints went to 8-0 with an impressive all-around effort, a 24-7 win over previous unbeaten Cedar Falls to wrap up the Valley Division title. The Saints rate fourth in 4A in scoring offense (42.6 ppg) and defense (8.6 ppg). Reggie Schulte’s numbers continue to sparkle: a 74.6-percent completion rate, 1,421 passing yards and a 26-to-3 TD-to-INT rate. Linn-Mar has won three of its last five games, including a 33-20 win over Iowa City High last week, and clinches a playoff spot with a win. If the Lions lose, they stand firmly on the bubble.
WATERLOO WEST at CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at John Wall Field
Records and rankings: West is 3-5 overall, 3-2 MVC Valley Division; Prairie is 5-3, 3-2.
Notable: Neither team is hurting for motivation. West is teetering on the fence for a playoff berth while Prairie can earn a first-round home date with a win and some significant help. Prairie’s Jarred Edmonds ranks third in Class 4A in receiving yards (951), and averages a staggering 25.7 yards per catch and 14 touchdowns. Jace Hanna has passed for 1,694 yards and 22 touchdowns, against just five interceptions. Lance Dunn has rushed for 726 yards to pace the Wahawks, which are coming off a 40-0 rout of Dubuque Wahlert.
CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY at IOWA CITY HIGH
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Bates Field
Records and rankings: Kennedy is 3-5 overall, 3-2 MVC Mississippi Division; City High is 4-4, 3-2.
Notable: Three weeks ago, this looked like a mismatch. City High was 4-1 and rolling along while Kennedy was 0-5 and apparently heading nowhere. Times have changed: The Cougars have won three straight and have positioned themselves for a probable playoff berth while the Little Hawks are reeling with three straight defeats. Kennedy’s Alex Hillyer is No. 3 in 4A (and the MVC leader) in rushing, at 1,202 yards. City High is banged up, and has scored just 20 points in the last three weeks.
GRINNELL at SOUTH TAMA
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Tama
Records and rankings: Third-ranked Grinnell is 8-0 overall, 5-0 Class 3A District 4; No. 7 South Tama is 7-1, 4-1.
Notable: Count South Tama among the most improved teams in the area. After a 2-7 season in 2011, the Trojans have ridden the legs of Kyle Stepheson (1,398 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns) to contention in their district. They can win the league with an upset win at home. Grinnell’s defense was untouchable through the first six weeks of the season, but has been a little more mortal lately. Grinnell had a battle on its hands last week before holding off Boone, 39-29. Junior quarterback Eli Dunne has passed for 1,807 yards and 18 touchdowns.
LISBON at LONE TREE
Time and site: 7 p.m. Friday, at Lone Tree
Records and rankings: Eighth-ranked Lisbon is 7-1 overall, 6-0 Class A District 5; Lone Tree is 6-2, 6-0.
Notable: It all set up quite nicely in this district, a dramatic winner-take-all proposition for the top two teams. Lisbon is the defending Class A state champion and has survived massive graduation losses. In its six district wins, the Lions have plastered the competition to the tune of 346-15. Logan Rickard has rushed for 14 touchdowns and Trevor Moore for nine. Mitch McAndrew has returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns. Lone Tree has been nearly as dominant in district play, putting up a 309-56 scoring disparity. Bryan Forbes has caught 24 passes for 365 yards, and also has five interceptions and two fumble recoveries to his credit.
NORTH TAMA at BELLE PLAINE
Time and site: 7 p.m. Friday, at Belle Plaine
Records and rankings: Fifth-ranked North Tama is 7-1 overall, 5-0 Class A District 4; Belle Plaine is 6-2, 4-1.
Notable: A little luster was chipped off this beauty when Belle Plaine was beaten last week by Gladbrook-Reinbeck, but it’s still the championship game of A-4. North Tama has hung its hat on defense through the past few years, and the Redhawks’ “D” has gotten better as the season has gone along, allowing 25 points in five district games. North Tama has become an effective passing team behind Jacob Wrage (100 of 154, 1,580 yards, 16 TDs) and Mitchell Boerm (40 catches, 652 yards, 7 TDs). Lance Hinschberger leads the Belle Plaine attack with 751 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns; Tyler Striegel has four interceptions, one for a touchdown.
DYERSVILLE BECKMAN at CASCADE
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Cascade
Records and rankings: No. 8 Beckman is 7-1 overall, 5-0 Class 2A District 4; Cascade is 5-3, 4-1.
Notable: The district title goes to Beckman if the Blazers are able to earn a road victory against their archrival. Cascade can capture crown if it wins and if Mount Vernon upsets Center Point-Urbana (see below). The all-junior passing combo of Grant Hammann (61 of 110, 993 yards) and Mitch Steger (38 catches, 666 yards) has been a reliable one for the Blazers. Cascade can air it out as well: Timmie Kleitsch is 89 for 180 with 1,420 yards and 17 TDs (but 10 INTs). Four Cascade receivers have 15 catches or more.
MOUNT VERNON at CENTER POINT-URBANA
TV: KCRG 9.2
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Center Point
Records and rankings: Mount Vernon is 5-3 overall, 3-2 Class 2A District 4; No. 10 CPU is 7-1, 4-1.
Notable: After a few lean years, Mount Vernon is on its way back up. The Mustangs have nailed down a playoff berth, and can earn a second-place finish and home field for Round 1 if enough breaks their way. CPU is a six-point loss to Dyersville Beckman away from a perfect record. Ryan Wilkin has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in passing and Cass Fox has 30 tackles for negative yardage. Mount Vernon’s Marshall Tuerler and Trey Ryan have combined for nearly 1,000 rushing yards and 16 TDs.
CLEAR CREEK AMANA at MAQUOKETA
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Maquoketa
Records and rankings: Both teams are 4-4 overall, 2-3 Class 3A District 6.
Notable: The winner of this game earns the fourth playoff spot in 3A-6. If history is any indication, CCA is due for a win. The Clippers haven’t had a winning or losing streak of more than one game all season, and they lost last week. CCA’s Konrad Moore had passed for 1,199 yards, with Tanner Bandy catching 35 balls for 465 yards. Josh Kirk has rushed for 916 yards and 12 touchdowns for Maquoketa.
OTHER METRO/IOWA CITY GAMES
Cedar Rapids Washington (2-6 overall, 0-5 MVC Valley Division) at Dubuque Wahlert (1-7, 0-5), 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Loras College
Dubuque Senior (6-2 overall, 3-2 MVC Mississippi Division) at Cedar Rapids Jefferson (1-7, 1-4), 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium
Preston (7-1 overall, 7-0 Eight Man District 4) vs. Cedar Valley Christian (0-8, 0-7), 7 p.m. Friday, at LaSalle Middle School
Belle Plaine, Cascade, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Cedar Valley Christian, Center Point-Urbana, Clear Creek Amana, DeWitt Central, Dubuque Senior, Dubuque Wahlert, Dyersville Beckman, fnl-sports, Football, Grinnell, Iowa City High, Iowa City Regina, Iowa City West, Linn-Mar, Lisbon, Lone Tree, Maquoketa, Marion, Mount Vernon, North Tama, Preston, Sigourney-Keota, South Tama, Waterloo East, Waterloo West, Week 9 football capsules