A dozen key area football games for Week 9 (plus one more):
DUBUQUE WAHLERT at CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Thursday, at Kingston Stadium
TV: KCRG 9.2
Records and rankings: Wahlert is 2-6 overall, 0-5 MVC Valley Division. Washington is 5-3, 4-1.
Notable: As we turn the page toward the postseason, Washington is undoubtedly the hottest team in the Metro. The Warriors have won five consecutive games, including a come-from-behind 21-14 triumph over Cedar Rapids Prairie last week. A win would wrap up a share of the MVC Valley Division title and a first-round playoff game at home next Wednesday. Junior QB Reid Snitker has passed for 1,172 yards and passed for 442. Wahlert’s Jared Walker is second in the division in receiving yards (530, on 29 catches). The Golden Eagles are eliminated from playoff contention.
IOWA CITY HIGH at CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Kingston Stadium
Records and rankings: Class 4A eighth-ranked City High is 7-1 overall, 5-0 MVC Mississippi Division; Kennedy is 5-3, 3-2.
Notable: City High has the MVC Mississippi Division crown in its hip pocket and pursues its eighth consecutive win. Kennedy, meanwhile, has a lot to play for — namely, a top-eight seed in the eastern half of the state and a first-round home playoff game. City’s Xavier Washpun leads the MVC and is second in Class 4A in rushing with 1,472 yards (he has scored 16 touchdowns on the ground). The Cougars, of course, can pound the ball as well with their stacked-I attack.
CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER at LINN-MAR
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Linn-Mar Stadium
TV: KCRG 9.2
Records and rankings: Class 4A No. 3 Xavier is 7-1 overall, 4-1 MVC Valley Division; Linn-Mar is 2-6, 2-3.
Notable: This is a tale of two defenses. Xavier leads the state in Class 4A in points allowed per game (5.9), and has posted five shutouts. That makes the Saints a threat against anyone in the postseason, and a heavy favorite Friday. Nick Ekland leads the stop unit with 37 tackles, while Daniel Vega has posted 14 for loss. Linn-Mar has struggled defensively (41.8 points allowed per game), and that’s the main reason the Lions will not make the playoffs. QB Ryan Schmidt has had a nice year, though, passing for 1,728 yards. Griffin Brennecke has amassed 654 yards, 28.4 per catch.
CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE at WATERLOO WEST
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Waterloo
Records and rankings: Prairie is 4-4 overall, 3-2 MVC Valley Division; West is 4-4, 2-3.
Notable: Both teams are securely in the playoffs, but this game has wide ramifications as far as seeding. Seven 4A-East teams are 4-4 heading into the final week of the regular season, and the winner of this game is likely to avoid one of the heavyweights (like Pleasant Valley, Davenport Assumption, Iowa City West, Cedar Rapids Xavier or Iowa City High) in the first round. Prairie’s Mitch Christensen needs 27 yards to become a 1,000-yard rusher. West’s Alex Young and Lance Dunn have rushed for 1,034 and 890, respectively, with a combined 22 touchdowns.
WATERLOO EAST at IOWA CITY WEST
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Trojan Field
Records and rankings: East is 0-8 overall, 0-5, MVC Mississippi Division; Class 4A No. 6 West is 7-1, 4-1.
Notable: West figures to roll, and a victory would leave the Trojans with a top-four seed in the eastern side of the state in Class 4A. Nate Boland has accounted for 19 touchdowns — 11 on the ground, eight through the air. It’s been a rough year for East, which had been a playoff team last year. East is averaging just 9.4 points per game, third fewest in 4A statewide.
DeWITT CENTRAL at MARION
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Thomas Park Field
Records and rankings: Central is 4-4 overall, 3-2 Class 3A District 6; Marion is 3-5, 2-3.
Notable: The week of reckoning has arrived for Marion. Win, and the Indians are a solid bet to make the playoffs. Lose, and it’s likely that they won’t. Marion finds itself in a pickle after losing four of its last five games, including a 21-7 defeat at Clear Creek Amana last week. Central has won six of eight games on the field, but forfeited two early-season games because of using an ineligible player.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON at DUBUQUE SENIOR
Time and site: 7:15 p.m. Friday, at Dubuque (Dalzell Field)
Records and rankings: Jefferson is 1-7 overall, 1-4 MVC Mississippi Division; Senior is 3-5, 2-3.
Notable: Jefferson is out of the playoff race while Senior’s hopes are hanging on a string. The J-Hawks just haven’t gotten a lot going offensively, averaging 11.8 points per game. Mike Smith (52 tackles) and Will Orr (51) have posted solid seasons on the defensive side. Senior was a big surprise in 2012 and has been a disappointment this year, but looks for its third straight win.
IOWA CITY REGINA at SIGOURNEY-KEOTA
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Sigourney
Records and rankings: No. 1 Regina is 8-0 overall, 5-0 Class 1A District 6; Sigourney-Keota is 5-3, 2-3.
Notable: Regina’s win streak has reached an even 50 games, and after this week, the Regals’ focus goes solely toward pursuit of a fourth consecutive state championship. They haven’t been severely pushed this season, with their closest game a 45-27 conquest of Wilton. Drew Cook has completed 71 percent of his passes for 1,368 yards and 16 touchdowns (against one interception). Sigourney-Keota will probably be the odd team out in a district that boasts five quality teams. The Savage Cobras must win Friday and hope for a nearly impossible Cardinal win over West Branch.
WAUKON at NEW HAMPTON
Time and site: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at New Hampton
Records and rankings: Both teams are 8-0 overall, 5-0 Class 2A District 3. Waukon is ranked No. 1; New Hampton is No. 6.
Notable: Expect a defensive slugfest. Waukon ranks No. 1 in Class 2A in scoring defense at 3.1 points per game allowed while New Hampton is third at 4.5. The Chickasaws will try to slow a Waukon attack led by Marcus Weymiller (798 yards, 16 touchdowns) and Parker Hesse (582 yards, 15 TDs). New Hampton’s Connor Frerichs has recorded 84 tackles while teammate Cole McDonald has intercepted six passes. Frerichs has rushed for 734 yards and 13 TDs.
BGM at PEKIN
Time and site: 7 p.m. Friday, at Packwood
Records and rankings: Top-ranked BGM is 8-0 overall, 6-0 Class A District 6; No. 6 Pekin is 7-1, 6-0.
Notable: Another district-title showdown. BGM has absolutely stormed through its first eight games; the Bears lead Class A in scoring offense (62.5 points per game) and scoring defense (5.1 ppg). Jack Kline has rushed for 1,072 yards on just 100 carries, and has notched 23 touchdowns. But that’s not his biggest trick. Seven of his nine punt returns have gone for scores, and he’s averaging almost 60 yards per return. Pekin’s Chase Copeland has run for 801 yards and 14 touchdowns.
LONE TREE at LISBON
Time and site: 7 p.m. Friday, at Lisbon
Records and rankings: Lone Tree is 6-2 overall, 5-1 Class A District 5; Lisbon is 6-2, 6-0.
Notable: These teams have been the giants of this district recently, and they’ll square off for the title again. Lisbon has taken off after starting 0-2, bludgeoning its district foes by a margin of 313-43. It has done so without glossy individual numbers; Tyler Svatosch leads the way with 643 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Lone Tree has won five straight contests after dropping its district opener to WACO and has held its last three opponents to 13 points.
CASCADE at DYERSVILLE BECKMAN
Time and site: 7:30 p.m., at Dyersville
Records and rankings: No. 9 Cascade is 7-1 overall, 5-0 Class 2A District 4; Beckman is 6-2, 4-1.
Notable: The 2A-4 race wil be decided Friday. It’s no surprise that Beckman will be involved, but Cascade has had a special season with seven straight victories. Five of those wins have been decided by two touchdowns or less. Derek Lieurance has passed for 1,724 yards and 15 touchdowns, and receiver Nate Bergfeld has had a monster season — 46 catches for 869 yards and nine touchdowns. Beckman is gathering steam with five straight wins after a 1-2 start, scoring 258 points in the last five weeks.
CENTER POINT-URBANA at MOUNT VERNON
Time and site: 7:30 p.m., at Mount Vernon
Records and rankings: CPU is 4-4 overall, 2-3 Class 2A District 4; Mount Vernon is 4-4, 3-2.
Notable: It’s as simple as this: The winner advances to the playoffs as the fourth team out of this balanced, competitive district; the loser will watch its season come to an end. CPU’s Brandon Kinsey is the district’s leading rusher; he has racked up 1,093 yards and 17 touchdowns. Three of Mount Vernon’s losses have come by six points or less, and two of CPU’s defeats have been decided by a touchdown or less.
OTHER METRO/IOWA CITY GAMES
* Cedar Valley Christian (0-7 overall, 0-6 8-Man District 4) at Easton Valley (4-3, 4-2), 7 p.m. Friday
BGM, Cascade, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Center Point-Urbana, DeWitt Central, Dubuque Senior, Dubuque Wahlert, Dyersville Beckman, Football, Iowa City High, Iowa City Regina, Iowa City West, Linn-Mar, Lisbon, Lone Tree, Marion, Mount Vernon, New Hampton, Pekin, Sigourney-Keota, Waterloo East, Waterloo West, Waukon, Week 9