Week 8 Football Capsules: A Closer Look at the Week Eight Area Football Contests

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Liberty High (2-5) at Davenport Assumption (3-4)

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

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: Liberty High lost to Central DeWitt 35-0. Davenport Assumption fell to Clear Creek Amana 17-7

Player to Watch: Davenport Assumption junior linebacker Seth Adrian (6-2, 225) has a team-high 50 tackles, 19 more than any other Knight defender.

Key Stat: Liberty High was +7 in turnover margin while opening the season 2-2 and is -7 in turnovers during its current three-game losing streak.

About the Lightning: In what has already been a historic first varsity season Liberty High has two more chances at notching a few more program firsts over the final two weeks. Liberty High will play its first Thursday night game in history this week when it goes for its first district and first road win.

After opening the season 2-2 with wins over Waterloo East and Mid-Prairie the Lightning are dropped to 0-3 in district play with a 35-0 loss to Central DeWitt last Friday in a game called at halftime by weather.

Liberty High will try to gets its running game back on track this week. The Lightning averaged 237 rushing yards per game and scored 11 rushing touchdowns during their 2-2 start but have been held to 77 yards on the ground and just one touchdown during their current losing skid.

About the Knights: The playoff hopes for perennial power Davenport Assumption took a serious hit last week with a 17-7 storm-shortened loss at sixth-ranked Clear Creek Amana. Assumption needs to close the season with a pair of wins and get a little bit of help to have a chance to reach the postseason.

The Knights were 1-3 following a rugged non-district schedule that featured losses to top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier and third-ranked Solon but opened district play with back-to-back wins over Clinton and Central DeWitt.

The key for Assumption has been senior quarterback Brandon Schlichting. The 6-0, 170-pound signal caller is averaging 227 yards of total offense and has accounted for 10 touchdowns in three wins but is averaging just 116 yards of offense and has five touchdowns in four losses.

Muscatine (4-3) at 4A No. 7 West High (6-1)

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

Last Season: West High 51, Muscatine 3

Last Week: West High defeated Davenport North 35-0. Muscatine lost to Linn-Mar 28-10  

Player to Watch: Muscatine sophomore running back Timothy Nimely (5-9, 175) ranks third in Class 4A with 1,024 rushing yards and has run for 199 or more three times.

Key Stat: Muscatine joins Fort Dodge as the only 4A teams with a player ranked in the top 10 in both rushing yards and receiving yards. Nimely ranks third in rushing and sophomore Eli Gaye (5-10, 165) ranks sixth in 4A with 641 receiving yards on 49 receptions.

About the Muskies: Muscatine opened the season 4-1 including a 46-17 win over City High in the District 4 opener but has lost back-to-back games since.

The trio of senior quarterback Carson Orr and sophomores Nimely and Gaye make the Muskies a dangerous offensive team.

Orr has passed for 1,091 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for two mores scores.

The issue for Muscatine of late has been keeping opponents off the scoreboard.

After allowing 18.7 points per game during a 3-0 start to the season the Muskies are giving up 34 points per game over their last four.

Muscatine allowed just 148 rushing yards per game in its first four but has seen that number soar to 290 yards per game while going 1-3 in its previous four games.

About the Trojans: West High has taken control of the District 4 race and needs one win in its final two games to clinch a second consecutive district crown.

The Trojans have rattled off five consecutive wins since a 10-7 loss to Bettendorf in week two winning games by an average of better than 24 points per game.

West High boasts one of the top defenses in the state and has been at its best over the past two weeks.

The Trojans are holding teams to 203 total yards and 9.9 points per game on the season but have allowed seven points and 108 total yards in the past two games combined.

1A No. 10 Cascade (5-2) at 1A No. 6 West Branch (6-1)

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

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: West Branch defeated Northeast 28-0. Cascade defeated Dyersville Beckman 21-20

Player to Watch: Cascade senior quarterback Haris Hoffman (6-1, 195) has passes for 1,269 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 343 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Key Stat: Cascade ranks third in Class 1A averaging 8 yards per offensive snap while the West Branch defense is allowing 4.4 yards per play this season.

About the Bears: West Branch is already a solid bet to secure a postseason berth but could set that in stone with a win over Cascade on Friday.

The Bears have outscored a pair of opponents 80-14 since a 28-20 road loss to fourth-ranked Bellevue in its district opener, putting up 28 points in less than a quarter against Northeast last week.

This one has the makings of a shootout with a couple of the top offenses in 1A going at it. West Branch is averaging 38.3 points and 337 total yards per game and is right behind Cascade at 7.9 yards per play.

The Bears appear to have the edge on defense and have held six of seven opponents to 14 points or fewer.

About the Cougars: One of the top offensive teams in Class 1A this season Cascade ranks fourth in 1A in total yards per game (411) and 10th in scoring (35.7).

The Cougars have scored more than 39 points four times this season and are averaging 41.7 points per game in three consecutive district wins.

Cascade was tested early with losses to Class 2A No. 4 Waukon (40-21) and No. 6 Benton Community (30-12) but have responded in district play.

The Cougars now close the season with back-to-back matchups with District 4 heavyweights West Branch and Bellevue a they attempt to secure a postseason berth.

Hoffman makes the Cascade offense go but the senior quarterback has plenty of help, namely junior running back Colby Holmes (5-9, 180) and receivers Alex Aitchison (6-5, 190) and Reid Rausch (6-1, 170).

Holmes has rushed for 667 yards and 12 touchdowns while Aitchison is averaging a whoopping 33.3 yards on 13 receptions and Rausch has a team-high 18 grabs for 354 yards and three touchdowns.

3A No. 4 North Scott (6-1) at 3A No. 6 Clear Creek Amana (7-0)

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

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: Clear Creek Amana defeated Davenport Assumption 17-7. North Scott defeated Clinton 37-7

Player to Watch: North Scott senior receiver Carson Rollinger (5-11, 170) leads the Lancers with 33 receptions for 596 yards and six touchdowns and also has a team-high five interceptions.

Key Stat: North Scott is an impressive +15 in turnover margin this season while Clear Creek Amana is +9 in the turnover column.

About the Clippers: One of the top games in the state this week matches a pair of top-five teams battling for the District 5 title.

Clear Creek Amana has been one of the biggest surprises in Class 3A. The Clippers have been impressive during the first 7-0 start in program history outscoring opponents by an average of 22 points per game and posting three shutouts.

Clear Creek Amana has done most of its damage on defense, holding teams to 208 total yards and 5.1 points per game. The Clippers haven’t allowed more than 15 points in a game and have held six of seven opponents to seven points or less.

Offensively the Clippers have relied on a strong running game that is averaging better than 220 yards per game on the ground and is led by senior quarterback Andrew Rohret who has a team-high 777 yards and 12 touchdowns.

About the Lancers: A Class 4A quarterfinalist last season North Scott can wrap up an 11th consecutive postseason appearance with a win over Clear Creek Amana on Friday.

The Lancers have won six straight following a 28-7 season-opening loss to 4A seventh-ranked West High, a streak that includes wins over 4A programs Davenport Central and Pleasant Valley and a victory over 3A No. 10 Western Dubuque.

Senior quarterback Nile McLaughlin (6-3, 205) directs a North Scott offense that is among the best in Class 3A.

The Lancers are averaging 337 total yards and 29.2 points per game and have scored 35 points or more in each of their last three games.

McLaughlin has passed for 1,235 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception while Jacob Porth leads North Scott with 467 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

City High (2-5) at Linn-Mar (2-5)

Where: Linn-Mar Stadium, 7:15 p.m.

Last Season: City High 26, Linn-Mar 13

Last Week: City High lost to Pleasant Valley 38-21. Linn-Mar defeated Muscatine 28-10.

Player to Watch: Linn-Mar senior running back Alex Hess (5-10, 175) ran wild in a win over Muscatine rushing for 273 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries to up this season totals to 484 yards and five scores.

Key Stat: In his last four games City High sophomore Raph Hamilton has completed 55 percent of his passes for 659 yards with four interceptions and four touchdowns.

About the Lions: Linn-Mar snapped a three-game losing skid with a 28-10 road win at Muscatine last week.

The Lions rolled up a season-high 385 yards of total offense in the win over the Muskies led by the 273 rushing yards by Hess.

It was a welcome offensive explosion for Linn-Mar which had scored 13 or fewer points eight times in the 15 games under second-year head coach Paul James.

The Linn-Mar defense is led by senior Luke Holmes (6-0, 215) who has a team-high 47.5 tackles and has kept the Lions in games this season.
Linn-Mar has allowed more than 17 points just two times this season and is holding opponents to 19.3 points per game.

About the Little Hawks: City High got three touchdown passes from Hamilton but couldn’t overcome an early deficit in a 38-21 loss to Pleasant Valley that was delayed by storm on Friday night and completed on Saturday afternoon.

The loss was the third straight for City High and dropped the Little Hawks to 0-3 in District 4 play.

City High will look to get its running game going after being held to 150 rushing yards in the previous two games combined.

Junior Tonka Hickman has rushed for a team-high 653 yards and six touchdowns but was held to 34 yards last week against Pleasant Valley.

3A No. 3 Solon (7-0) at Keokuk (1-6)

Where: Calvert Stadium in Keokuk, 7 p.m.

Last Season: Solon 47, Keokuk 7

Last Week: Solon defeated Mount Pleasant 34-28. Keokuk lost to Fairfield 19-6

Player to Watch: Keokuk junior running back Braylon Martinez (5-7, 135) has rushed for 424 yards and three touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 107 yards.

Key Stat: Solon allowed 670 passing yards in its first six games combined before giving up 393 yards through the air in a 34-28 win over Mount Pleasant last week.

About the Spartans: Solon is closing in on another district title and a second consecutive unbeaten regular season after surviving a scare from Mount Pleasant last week.

Even after allowing season-highs in total yards (436) and points (28) against Mount Pleasant last week Solon is still holding opponents to 209 yards and 11.3 points per game.

The Solon offense put up a season-high 395 yards of total offense last week behind a 230-yard passing effort from junior quarterback Cam Miller and another 100-yard rushing game from senior Adam Bock.

Miller has thrown for 1,031 yards and 18 touchdowns with junior receiver AJ Coons catching a team-high 38 passes for 591 yards and 10 scores.

About the Chiefs: Keokuk has lost four straight games since a 14-6 win over West Burlington on September 7 and is averaging just six points per game during its current losing skid.

The Chiefs have been outscored 100-12 in three district games and join Fort Madison as the lone teams in District 6 without a district win.

Offense has been hard to come by for Keokuk which is averaging 198 total yards and 9.3 points per game.

Martinez and sophomore quarterback Corey Skinner have accounted for most of the Chief’s offensive production this season.

Skinner (5-11, 165) has passed for 445 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 285 yards and another score.

Regina (4-3) at Jesup (1-6)

Where: Jesup, 7:30 p.m.

Last Season: Did Not Play

Last Week: Regina defeated North Linn 35-12. Jesup fell to Dike-New Hartford 59-0

Player to Watch: Junior Fischer Ohrt (5-11, 167) does a little bit of everything for Jesup. He has passed for 488 yards and five touchdowns, rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown and caught 17 passes for 168 yards and a TD. Ohrt also has 10 tackles, a team-high three interceptions and handles punting duties for the J-Hawks. 

Key Stat: Regina allowed 335 total yards and 30 points per game during a 1-3 start but is holding opponents to 169 yards of offense and 10.3 points during its three-game winning streak.

About the Regals: At 3-0 in district play Regina has kept its playoff hopes alive with two weeks to go in the regular season.

A win this week at Jesup would likely set up a winner-take-all matchup for the 1A District 6 tile with top-ranked Dike-New Hartford in the regular season finale at Regal Field.

The Regals went 1-3 against a challenging non-district slate but have rebounded to win three consecutive district games by an average of 18 points.

Regina is finally getting healthy with sophomore quarterback Ashton Cook one of several starters to return to the lineup last week.

Cook threw for 164 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score after missing a month with an injury.

About the J-Hawks: Jesup dropped to 0-3 in District 6 play with a 59-0 loss to Dike-New Hartford last week, the second consecutive shutout loss for the J-Hawks.

Jesup averaged 22.5 points in four non-district games punctuated by a 35-6 win over BCLUW in its non-district finale.

In three district games the J-Hawks have scored just 12 total points and are averaging 120 yards of total offense.

Ohrt has provided much of the offensive spark for Jesup with junior Cooper Fuelling (5-9, 148) leading the way with 29 receptions for 324 yard and three touchdowns.