Week 6 Prep Football Preview

Marshalltown (0-5, 0-1) at DM Hoover (2-3, 0-1)

The Marshalltown football team will try and build off its best chance at a win, which came on the road last week at Ottumwa, when the Bobcats go to Des Moines Hoover tonight in Class 4A Division 3 play.

The Huskies boast the second-leading passing offense in Class 4A behind quarterback Brock Larsen. The junior trails only Ames’ Sam Straub with 1,197 passing yards, throwing for 13 touchdowns but six interceptions. Kalen Toliver has been his top target, catching 23 balls for 377 yards and three scores.

MHS is averaging just 193.8 yards per game on offense, standing 43rd out of 48 teams in 4A with an 11.2 points-per-game average. QB Dylan Diveney is the Bobcats’ leading passer and rusher.

Ballard (3-2, 1-1) at South Tama (2-3, 1-2)

South Tama’s Homecoming game preparation will center around stopping one of the leading rushers in all of Class 3A when Ballard comes to town tonight for a Class 3A District 4 showdown.

Ballard senior Jacob Nethers ranks fourth in 3A with 736 rushing yards, averaging 5 yards per carry while scoring eight touchdowns so far. Nethers has accounted for more than 48 percent of his team’s yards from scrimmage.

South Tama is coming off a blowout win over Saydel. The Trojans have recently leaned on sophomore tailback Jerry Lowe, who has 20 carries for 191 yards and seven touchdowns over the last two games.

Gilbert (3-2, 2-1) at East Marshall (0-6, 0-2)

One of the top performers in Class 2A comes to Le Grand tonight as Gilbert junior quarterback Jared Gescheidler leads his Tigers in for a District 7 contest.

Gescheidler has eclipsed 1,000 yards this season between rushing and passing the ball, compiling 13 touchdowns along the way. The Tigers’ losses have been to 3A-ranked Webster City and to formerly ranked district foe North Polk.

East Marshall has yet to score more than 22 points in a game while failing to limit a foe to fewer than 23. The Mustangs boast the sixth-leading rushing attack in 2A but is last in passing with just 86 yards through the air. Zach Rubenbauer (11th) and Nick Long (13th) are among the class’ top rushers.

South Hardin (1-4, 1-2) at West Marshall (5-0, 2-0)

Class 2A’s top passing team will visit the second-leading rushing team tonight as West Marshall entertains South Hardin on Homecoming.

South Hardin, after a year off, has managed just one win thus far but has been close to a couple others. The Tigers lead 2A with 1,211 passing yards, including 1,177 of them for junior QB Sam Shindelar.

Third-ranked West Marshall dispatched previously unbeaten North Polk last Friday night in the first of four straight home games for the Trojans. Duncan Ferch (909 yards, 12 touchdowns) ranks second in 2A with his rushing totals while fullback Devin Chesler (518 yds., 9 TD) has been a good compliment. QB Matt Van Metre provided his career-best 95 yards passing as well as two rushing touchdowns in last week’s 35-14 win over North Polk.

AGWSR (6-0, 3-0) at Mason City Newman (2-3, 2-1)

Off to its best start since 1995, the fourth-ranked AGWSR football team continues Class 2A District 2 play tonight against a perennial power in Mason City Newman.

The Knights are poised to make their seventh straight trip to the playoffs, but a loss tonight won’t help their cause. Newman is led by senior tailback Joseph Burgmeier, who has rushed for 620 yards and nine touchdowns.

AGWSR can’t match his totals individually, but the Cougars are the third-leading rushing team in Class A. AGWSR has attempted only 25 passes this season, while Clay Meinders has carried the ball 77 times for 495 yards and 11 scores. The Cougars’ offensive line is second-to-none.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck (3-2, 2-0) at North Tama (1-5, 1-2)

The shared Gladbrook-Reinbeck program needs its first-ever win over North Tama in order to keep pace with arch-rival Grundy Center in the race for the Class A District 4 crown.

North Tama leads the all-time series with G-R, 12-0, including last year’s 38-point triumph in Gladbrook. The Redhawks have fallen on hard times, however, and rank 59th out of 63 teams in Class A with a scoring average of just 8.67 points. They’re last in rushing offense.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck, meanwhile, is 11th in rushing offense behind Class A’s individual leader in Chase Clark. Clark has 953 of his team’s 1,382 rushing yards, and the Rebels are well-rested coming off a bye week and back-to-back blowout wins.

Grundy Center (4-2, 3-0) at BCLUW (2-3, 1-1)

Grundy Center brings a juggernaut offense into Conrad tonight for BCLUW’s Homecoming game in a Class A District 4 clash in Comet Country.

The Spartans are averaging 366 yards per game and rank second in total offense, though they’ve played one more game than most. Nevertheless, scoring has not been a problem for Grundy Center after season-opening defeats to top-ranked teams like Class A No. 4 AGWSR and 1A No. 4 Dike-New Hartford.

BCLUW is averaging 12.4 points per game, so scoring is a must. The Comets have combined for only 20 points in their last four games after racking up 42 in their season-opening win over East Marshall. BCLUW linebacker Blake Cooper is among the state’s leading tacklers with 60 stops so far.

Meskwaki (1-4) at Ankeny Christian (0-5)

A week after capturing its first win of the season, the Meskwaki Settlement School leaves 8-Man District 5 play for a trip to winless Ankeny Christian.

The Warriors whipped up on winless Seymour a week ago, 64-0, and follows Ankeny Christian with a trip to Moravia (0-6). No statistics are available for Meskwaki’s last two games.

Noah Szymanski leads Ankeny Christian into tonight’s game, throwing for 516 yards and four touchdowns. The Eagles are averaging just 15.4 points per game.

Mormon Trail (1-4, 0-3) at Colo-NESCO (2-4, 2-2)

High-scoring Lamoni stopped Colo-NESCO’s winning surge at two games last week, but the Royals hope to rebound at home with an 8-Man District 6 contest against Mormon Trail.

The Saints bring a four-game losing streak into Colo. Jakob Horton has rushed for 429 yards and eight TDs to lead Mormon Trail.

Colo-NESCO quarterback Taylor Hill has rushed for 57 percent of his team’s total offense from scrimmage. He ranks 19th in 8-Man rushing with 661 yards but has thrown for just 108 yards. Noah Gibbons had interceptions and Evan Webb had fumble recoveries in each of the Royals’ back-to-back wins prior to last week’s 68-12 loss at Lamoni.