Prep football spotlight

Non-district football comes to a screeching halt for the most part after tonight.

Week 2 of the prep season brings with it several intriguing matches, including a Top-10 tilt in eight-man.

Seventh-ranked West Bend-Mallard puts it perfect 2-0 record on the line against defending state champion Marcus-MMC. Last year, the Wolverines were knocked out of the postseason by MMC, 49-6.

Also, unbeaten Humboldt travels to Lake City to face South Central Calhoun, while Webster City hits the road to face fellow 1-0 team Gilbert.

In Clarion, Eagle Grove and the Cowboys will be each trying to pick up their first victory of the young season.

Here’s a look at those games, along with the rest of tonight’s area action:

Humboldt (1-0) at

SC Calhoun (0-1)

It was all systems go for the Wildcats a week ago, as they cruised to a 42-12 win over Clarion-Goldfield.

Junior standout Brady Ross ran for 179 yards on just 15 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Senior Nikko Wheeler added 85 yards and two scores, as both put together 60-plus yard TD jaunts.

Brenden Schnell, stepping in for Ben Jacobson at quarterback, was an efficient 3 of 5 for 55 yards.

Alex Nelson and Ross anchored a defense that allowed just over 200 yards on the ground.

The Titans, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back after a 27-16 loss to Manson Northwest Webster. They play four of their next six games at home, sandwiched around back-to-back road trips to Carroll Kuemper and Estherville-LC.

Jake Petzenhauser completed 11 of 19 for 191 yards, while Kyler Case racked up 81 yards rushing and a score, along with 58 receiving yards.

Five total South Central Calhoun players made catches, including three each by Derrick Henkenius and Jace Neubaum.

Rylan Richardson had 16 tackles, while Case and Cody Schoop each recorded 14.

For the Titans to have success, they must find a way to slow down Ross and Wheeler as the Cougars ran for over 250 yards last Friday night.

No. 7 (8-man) West Bend-Mallard (2-0) at No. 5 Marcus-MMC (1-0)

The Wolverines started off 2013 with wins over Northwood-Kensett and Remsen-Union, but will be facing a much stiffer test in the defending state champs.

West Bend-Mallard racked up 60 points a week ago, as Davey Jergens scored three touchdowns and Jordan Buhs found different ways to hit paydirt.

In Week 1, it was Jesse Zinnel getting the job done, as the senior quarterback threw for 125 yards and ran for another 90. He connected three times with brother Jason for 83 yards.

Marcus-MMC opened in impressive fashion, pitching a shutout vs. Graettinger-Terril.

Conner Holmes ran 14 times for 100 yards, while Jacob Spieler was 8-for-16 for 155 yards and four touchdowns. The sophomore was picked off twice.

Many of those faces from last year for MMC have moved on, including quarterback Tanner Utesch, who ran for 126 yards and three scores in the title game, while also throwing for two more TDs.

Revenge will be on the mind of the Wolverines, who can take a big step forward before beginning district play in one of the toughest leagues around – regardless of size.

Webster City (1-0) at Gilbert (1-0)

The Lynx scored a 13-0 win over Ballard last week, as Connor Larson had 107 yards, including a 70-yarder. Trey Tesdahl added 83 yards passing and another 67 rushing.

While those were key, it was the defensive effort that shined bright. Rylee Lawson had 15 tackles, including two sacks, while Nelson Ball added 10 stops.

Gilbert, meanwhile, was putting on an offensive showcase vs. CMB-Baxter, racking up well over 350 yards rushing and almost 500 yards total.

Jared Gescheidler did it with his arm and legs, as the junior was 5 of 8 for 115 yards and ran for another 135. He scored four times rushing and another passing., while Zach Becker also ran for 110 yards.

Lawson, Ball and the rest of the Webster City defense will need to be on alert for the Tigers.

Eagle Grove (0-1) at Clarion-Goldfield (0-1)

Nobody wants to start the season 0-2, but that prospect is staring back in the mirror for the Eagles and Cowboys.

Both have been regulars to the postseason, including a strong run to the quarterfinals by Clarion-Goldfield two years ago.

Cowboy head coach Paul Hansch used several running backs last week, as Zach Pogge led the way with 71 yards. Four others received more than five carries, but most found the going tough vs. Humboldt.

The Eagles had it even tougher, as Jake Wilde was the lone bright spot with 94 yards and a score on the ground.

While anything can happen in district play, a win would be a huge momentum booster for the victor.

Tonight’s other area games: Algona (0-1) at Estherville-LC (1-0); East Sac County (1-0) at Pocahontas Area (0-1); North Polk (1-0) at Greene County (0-1); North Union (0-1) at Bishop Garrigan (0-1); Emmetsburg (0-1) at No. 6 (2A) Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (1-0); Manson Northwest Webster (1-0) at Prairie Valley (0-1); Kingsley-Pierson (1-1) at No. 4 (8-man) Newell-Fonda (1-0); Clay Central-Everly (0-1) at Corwith-CWL (0-2); Remsen St. Mary’s (0-1) at Laurens-Marathon (0-1).