Week 4 Football Capsules: Breaking Down the Area Football Games

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Class 3A No. 4 Solon (3-0) at Davenport Assumption (1-2)

Where: Thursday at Brady Street Stadium in Davenport, 7:15 p.m.

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: Solon defeated Marion 47-10. Davenport Assumption lost to 3A No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier 48-0

Player to Watch: Davenport Assumption senior quarterback Brandon Schlichting (6-0, 170) has passed for 413 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 99 yards and three scores.

Key Stat: More than half of the completed passes for Assumption this season have landed in the hands of senior receiver Nick Gotilla (6-0, 180) who has 17 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown.

About the Knights: Assumption has been among the most consistent programs in Eastern Iowa over the past decade winning at least five games in nine consecutive seasons. The Knights have reached the playoffs 11 consecutive years and are coming off a 9-3 season that ended in the 3A quarterfinals.

Take the 1-2 record and statistics with a grain of salt, the two losses for Assumption have come to Rock Island Alleman Catholic (38-19) and 3A top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier 48-0.

Assumption is still looking to hit its stride on offense and enters averaging 248 total yards and just 110 rushing yards per game.  

About the Spartans: Solon responded from a week two scare at West Liberty with a dominating 47-10 win over Marion last week.

The Spartans rushed for 218 yards against Marion while rolling up a season-highs of 371 total yards and 47 points.

Junior quarterback Cam Miller has passed for 405 yards and seven touchdowns with AJ Coons grabbing 12 passes for 217 yards and three scores.

The defense has once again been the calling card for the Spartans who are holding opponents to 199 total yards and eight points per game while forcing 11 turnovers in three wins.

Class 4A No. 6 West High (2-1) at Dubuque Senior (1-2)

Where: Dalzell Field in Dubuque, 7:15p.m.

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: West High defeated Southeast Polk 31-17. Dubuque Senior lost to Cedar Rapids Washington 10-0

Player to Watch: Dubuque Senior junior Carter Konrady (5-10, 185) leads the Rams with 25.5 tackles, more than double the total for any other senior defender and has recorded at least 11 tackles in two of three games.

Key Stat: All four West High touchdown passes this season are longer than 40 yards and have an average distance of better than 71 yards.

About the Rams: After a 7-6 season-opening win over Linn-Mar the Rams have dropped back-to-back games to Davenport North and Cedar Rapids Washington.

Dubuque Senior has been solid defensively, allowing 12 points per game but has struggled on offense, averaging 271 total yards and 4.7 points per game.

Senior running back Harry Blewett (5-7, 18) has been the top offensive threat for the Rams, rushing for 212 yards while junior quarterback Tommy Casey (6-1, 170) has accounted for both Dubuque Senior touchdowns.

Casey has thrown for 285 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 54 yards and another score.

About the Trojans: Sophomore Marcus Morgan stepped in at quarterback last week and led West High to a season-high 31 points in a bounce back win over Southeast Polk.

Morgan passed for 209 yards and a score in his debut, connecting with senior receiver Justin Thomas on a 40-yard touchdown pass.

The brunt of the schedule seems to have passed for West High which has three consecutive games against opponents that currently have one or fewer wins.

Look for West High to get its running game going after averaging 118 yards on the ground through the first three games.

Dubuque Hempstead (1-2) at City High (1-2)

Where: Bates Field, 7:15 p.m.

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: City High lost to Ames 35-0. Dubuque Hempstead lost to 4A No. 2 Bettendorf 29-21

Player to Watch: Hempstead sophomore quarterback Aidan Dunne (6-0, 185) is looking like a good one early in his career. Dunne has passed for 364 and two touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards and a team-leading four scores.

Key Stat: City High senior Malik Kimber leads the Little Hawks in receiving, ranks second in rushing and is averaging 17.7 yards per offensive touch.

About the Mustangs: Dubuque Hempstead turned a few heads around the state last week when it went toe to toe with second-ranked Bettendorf last week before falling 29-21.

The Mustangs appear to be much improved from the team that finished 3-6 a year ago.

Hempstead followed a one-point loss to Davenport North in the season opener with a 55-10 win over Cedar Rapids Washington before last week’s close call against the Bulldogs.

The senior duo of Chase Sabers (5-11, 200) and Reed Snitker (6-4, 215) have combined to rush for 331 yards and two touchdowns while averaging better than five yards per carry and both have 100-yard games to their credit.

About the Little Hawks: Offense has been hard to come by for City High the past two weeks after putting up better than 400 rushing yards and 38 points in a season-opening win over Liberty High.

The Little Hawks were shutout and averaged 172 total yards in back-to-back losses to No. 3 Cedar Falls and Ames.

City High will attempt to get its offense rolling this week against a Hempstead defense that allowed 241 rushing yards last week.

The trio of junior Tonka Hickman and seniors Max DePrenger and Kimber have combined for 562 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Mid-Prairie (0-3) at Liberty High (1-2)

Where: Liberty High, 7:15 p.m.

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: Liberty High lost to Washington 35-19. Mid-Prairie lost to 1A No. 7 Wilton 22-6

Player to Watch: Senior Grant Boyse (5-10, 150) has been a bright spot for the Mid-Prairie this season, scoring three of the Golden Hawk’s four touchdowns. Boyse has rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown, caught three passes for 82 yards and a score and returned a kickoff 83 yards for a score. He also leads Mid-Prairie with 21.5 tackles and has an interception.

Key Stat: After allowing City High to rush for 406 rushing yards in a season-opening loss Liberty High limited its next two opponents to 173 rushing yards combined and 3.3 yards per carry.

About the Golden Hawks: Mid-Prairie has been outscored 84-25 during an 0-3 start to the season that has pushed the Golden Hawks’ losing streak to five games dating back to last season.

Points and yards have been tough to come by for Mid-Prairie which enters Friday’s matchup with Liberty High averaging 184 total yards per game.

Junior quarterback Brad Tornow (5-8, 155) has passed for 226 yards and a touchdown but is completing just 33 percent of his passes and has thrown four interceptions.

Senior Justin Schwartz (6-0, 160) and Boyse have been the offensive sparks for the Golden Hawks. Schwartz has rushed for a team-high 114 yards and has a team-best 11 receptions for 89 yards.

About the Lightning: Liberty High put up a season-high 371 yards of total offense last week but it wasn’t enough in a 35-19 loss at Washington.

The Lightning and their run-heavy offense now face a Mid-Prairie defense that is allowing 278 yards per game on the ground and has given up more than 330 yards rushing in its previous two games.

Liberty High has rushed for at least 200 yards in all three games and has four players with more than 100 yards rushing on the season.

Junior Jack Ankenbauer leads the way with 229 yards and four touchdowns while Kaleb Williams has run for 161 yards and sophomore Max Tafolla has 153 yards and three touchdowns.

Tipton (3-0) at Class 1A No. 1 West Branch (3-0)

Where: The Little Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m.

Last Season: West Branch 30, Tipton 20

Last Week: West Branch defeated Williamsburg 31-7. Tipton defeated Durant 28-14

Player to Watch: Senior running back Logan Stolte (5-9, 145) leads a balanced Tipton rushing attack with 321 yards and four touchdowns and is averaging seven yards per carry.

Key Stat: Tipton has completed four passes in three games this season with three going for touchdowns.

About the Bears: An impressive three-game winning streak to the season has sent West Branch to the top of the Class 1A rankings.

The Bears are humming on both sides of the ball, averaging 358 yards total yards and 37 points per game while holding opponents to 218 yards and nine points per game.

West Branch has been especially stingy against the run which sets up an intriguing matchup against a run-heavy Tipton offense.

The Bears are yielding just 98 rushing yards per game while allowing just 3.3 yards per carry this season.   

About the Tigers: With three consecutive wins to open the season the Tigers are off to their best start since starting 4-0 in 2012.

A potent running game has been a big part of the 3-0 start for the Tigers. Tipton ranks eighth in the state averaging 329 rushing yards per game and has rushed for more than 380 yards in two of three games.

Three different Tigers have rushed for more than 100 yards in a game with Logan Stolte, Jaxson Murphy and Austin Lenz have all cracked the 100-yard barrier.

Tipton didn’t complete a pass in a 28-14 win over Durant last week but rushed for 383 yards.

Clear Creek Amana (3-0) at Marion (1-2)

Where: Thomas Park Field, 7:15 p.m.

Last Season: Marion 35, Clear Creek Amana 0

Last Week: Clear Creek Amana defeated Fort Madison 38-0. Marion lost to Solon 47-10

Player to Watch: Marion junior Connor Whalen (6-0, 170) is a key on both sides of the ball for the Indians. Whalen is averaging 19.6 yards per catch and has two touchdown grabs as a receiver, averages 34.2 yards per kickoff return including a 90-yarder for a score and has a team-high 22 tackles.

Key Stat: Clear Creek Amana has held opponents scoreless for 11 consecutive quarters.

About the Clippers: Clear Creek Amana has been impressive during its 3-0 start to the season outscoring opponents 93-7 while outgaining foes by an average of 347 to 215.

The Clippers have been especially dominant on defense where they are allowing just 2.3 points and 86 rushing yards per game while forcing six turnovers.

Offensively the Clippers are picking up steam under first-year quarterback Andrew Rohret.

Rohret is completing 65 percent of his passes while throwing for 364 yards and five touchdowns and has added a team-high 291 rushing yards and five scores.

Sophomore Alex Figueroa and senior Zach Kabbage have combined for 299 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

About the Indians: With senior quarterback Trevor Paulsen sidelined with an injury Marion struggled to get its offense in gear in a 47-10 loss to Solon last week.

The status of Paulsen is a difference maker for Marion. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Paulsen passed for 593 yards and six touchdowns and also rushed for 73 yards in the Indians’ first two games.

Regardless of who is at quarterback Marion will rely on a pass catching corps led by Mitch McAllister (5-9, 150) and Mason Rahe (6-1, 190).

Rahe and McAllister have combined for 27 receptions for 379 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Marion has won the previous two meetings between the two teams including a 15-14 overtime win in the last meeting in Marion.

Regina (1-2) at Williamsburg (0-3)

Where: Williamsburg, 7:30 p.m.

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: Regina lost to 1A No. 8 Pella Christian 24-21. Williamsburg lost to 1A No. 1 West Branch 31-7

Player to Watch: Senior running back Gage Hazen-Fabor (5-8, 170) is one of only 18 players in the state with more than 500 yards this season, rushing for 502 yards and two touchdowns in three games while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Key Stat: The three teams to defeat Williamsburg this season own a combined record of 8-1.

About the Raiders: Few teams have faced tougher three-week roads to open the season than the pair of defending state runners-up that will meet in Williamsburg this week.

The defending 2A runner-up Raiders opened the season with a 27-14 loss to West Marshall who is receiving votes in Class 2A. The other two losses for Williamsburg have come to Class 3A sixth-ranked Western Dubuque and 1A top-ranked West Branch.

Senior quarterback Jordan Martin (6-0, 160) has provided some balance to go with the dynamic Hazen-Fabor, completing 55 percent of his passes while throwing for 500 yards.

It has been the defense that has been problematic for Williamsburg which is allowing 461 total yards and 37 points per game.

About the Regals: Regina will look to enter district play on a high note after a 24-21 loss to eighth-ranked Pella Christian last week.

Senior Scott Arendt completed 18-of-35 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start in relief of injured sophomore Ashton Cook.

Arendt also rushed for a touchdown last week but Regina managed just 77 yards on the ground last week and is averaging 80 rushing yards per game this season.

The Regals will attempt to get that rushing game going against a Williamsburg defense that allowing better than 187 yards per game on the ground.

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