Week 9 Prep Football Preview

Marshalltown (1-7, 1-3) at Dowling Catholic (8-0, 4-0)

The good news for Marshalltown is that a Week 8 win over Mason City snapped a season-long losing skid and presented the opportunity for the Bobcats to prolong their playoff streak.

The bad news? They’ll need to beat top-ranked Dowling Catholic to do it.

In order for MHS to make it five years in a row in the postseason, a best-case scenario will require a Mason City loss to Ankeny Centennial, a win by at least 5 points over the Maroons, and a Des Moines Hoover triumph over Ottumwa.

Dowling Catholic has collected its eight wins by an average of nearly 29 points per game.

South Tama (3-5, 1-4) at Grinnell (5-3, 3-2)

The Steve Kriegel Memorial Trophy hasn’t changed hands much in recent years, as Grinnell has defeated South Tama each of the last five seasons in the annual rivalry contest.

The Tigers even tacked on a playoff win over STC last fall, making it 14 wins in the last 17 meetings.

It’s a trophy and pride left to drive South Tama this week, as a playoff berth is out of the question. Grinnell is guaranteed the No. 3 seed in Class 3A District 4.

West Marshall (8-0, 5-0) at Gilbert (5-3, 4-1)

West Marshall’s playoff streak will reach six years in a row regardless of tonight’s outcome in Gilbert as the third-ranked Trojans bid for a third straight perfect regular season.

Gilbert is already guaranteed its second consecutive state playoff berth.

West Marshall hasn’t made it easy on anybody. The Trojans have won eight times this season by an average of more than 36 points, and they bring a 28-game district winning streak into tonight’s regular-season finale.

South Hardin (1-7, 1-5) at Colfax-Mingo (2-6, 0-6)

Two teams with a combined 11-game losing streak collide tonight in Colfax as South Hardin meets the host Tigerhawks in a non-district regular-season finale.

Neither team will make the playoffs. South Hardin has lost five straight in Class 2A District 7, while Colfax-Mingo is 0-for-6 in 1A’s District 7.

East Marshall (0-9, 0-5) at North Polk (7-1, 4-1)

North Polk has allowed only seven points in its last two wins, representing a needed change for a Comet defense allowing an average of nearly 20 points per game. East Marshall, meanwhile, has only been within 17 points of an opponent twice this season.

Two teams on opposite ends of Class 2A District 7 collide tonight in Alleman, with North Polk already promised its fourth straight playoff appearance. East Marshall hasn’t made its way to the postseason since 1992.

Prairie Valley (5-3, 5-1) at AGWSR (9-0, 6-0)

The third playoff appearance in AGWSR history is coming the Cougars’ way, but a 10-win regular season would be the first for any of the combined schools.

The last time AGWSR won 10 games, it fell to eventual state champion Council Bluffs St. Albert in the semifinals of the Class 1A state tournament. The Cougars claim an outright district title with a win, though Prairie Valley rides a five-game win streak into its chance at a shared district crown.

AGWSR hasn’t allowed more than 13 points in any game this season, pitching three shutouts along the way. And the offense has overcome the loss of starting quarterback Cody Williams to season-ending knee surgery.

GMG (4-4, 2-3) at Gladbrook-Reinbeck (6-2, 5-0)

GMG will need the stars to align just right for the Wolverines to reach the postseason for the first time since 1999, but the chance still exists. Beating Class A No. 9 Gladbrook-Reinbeck, however, is the first step.

The Rebels haven’t lost since a Week 3 defeat to Class 1A No. 3 Dike-New Hartford, averaging just shy of 40 points per game in their current five-game district win streak. Gladbrook-Reinbeck is headed back to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row and five of the last six.

GMG could survive a loss and still reach the playoffs, pending the right margin of victory from a North Tama defeat of Belle Plaine.

Belle Plaine (3-5, 2-3) at North Tama (1-7, 1-4)

An eighth straight playoff appearance will demand a North Tama victory over Belle Plaine and the right combination of tiebreakers going the Redhawks’ way. North Tama needs a 13-point win over the Plainesmen and a 13-point GMG loss to ninth-ranked Gladbrook-Reinbeck to gain the fourth position in Class A District 4.

BCLUW (4-4, 3-2) at Iowa Valley (1-7, 0-5)

The Comets will try to hand Iowa Valley its eighth straight defeat, having already secured the program’s first playoff bid since 2003.

BCLUW has won three of its last four, finally breaking free offensively last week with a 48-13 triumph over GMG. The Comets hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over both teams that could potentially catch them in Class A District 4 (GMG, Belle Plaine).

Iowa Valley has only eclipsed 12 points once this season.

Meskwaki (4-4, 3-3) at Melcher-Dallas (5-3, 3-3)

The scenario for Meskwaki Settlement is simple: Win and you’re in.

The Warriors will go in search of their second state playoff berth in school history when they visit Melcher-Dallas for their 8-Man District 5 showdown with the Saints. Meskwaki carries a four-game win streak into the matchup, boasting a 226-14 scoring advantage during that span.

Melcher-Dallas took last year’s game 82-6 in the regular-season finale for both squads.