Area teams heading into home stretch
Three weeks remain in the regular season, and the importance of each game from here on out cannot be overstated.
While some playoff berths have already been locked in unofficially, no team wants to enter the postseason without that all-important momentum.
For many, these final games will determine whether or not they hit the road for week one of the postseason or get to stay at home.
In Webster City, the Lynx welcome Waverly-Shell Rock in a battle of teams jockeying for the runner-up spot in Class 3A, District 3.
South Central Calhoun head coach Bryan Case has seen his Titans earn three straight league wins after an 0-3 non-district run. They will look to continue that at home vs. Garner-Hayfield/Ventura, while a meeting with No. 9 (2A) Spirit Lake looms next week.
Once-beaten district squads Bishop Garrigan and Mason City Newman tangle in Mason City, while Humboldt looks to get back on track in a non-league affair vs. LeMars.
Here’s a look at those games around the area tonight:
Waverly-Shell Rock (4-2, 2-1) at Webster City (5-1, 3-1)
The Lynx were one of many teams hit by the weather bug last week, as their game vs. Clear Lake was moved to Saturday morning.
The delay did Webster City no help, as the Lions scored an impressive victory.
Now, after seeing Waverly-Shell Rock upend Humboldt a week ago, there is no denying the importance of this game.
The winner will place themselves in firm position of the coveted No. 2 spot in the district with just two games left.
After scoring 70 points the previous two weeks, Webster City was held to just seven vs. the Lions. Connor Larson couldn’t get on track, running for just 60 yards on 22 carries.
Expect more from Larson tonight, as the senior has over 800 yards on the ground.
The Go-Hawks rode the combination of Jake Velky and Collin Werkman to a 20-19 victory over Humboldt, as the duo connected six times for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
A multi-purpose threat, Velky was 15 of 26 for 274 yards, while also rushing for a team-high 46 yards. He even showed his all-around skills by taking an interception back for a score.
On the year, Velky has completed 47 passes for 691 yards, while also rushing for 255 yards.
Webster City will need to keep him in-check to earn its fourth district win of the year.
Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (5-1, 2-1) at South Central Calhoun (3-3, 3-0)
The non-district slate for the Titans prepared them for league play, as South Central Calhoun faced Manson Northwest Webster, Humboldt and Carroll Kuemper.
Combined, those three teams are 15-3, with Kuemper still holding down the top spot in 3A.
Outside of those three games, it’s been classic SCC football, as the Titans have earned close wins over Clarion-Goldfield and Forest City.
Jake Petzenhauser has taken over the offense, throwing and running for a combined 775 yards on the year.
Jeff King has added 237 yards on the ground to provide him a stable backfield threat.
All that time spent on the field with playoff-quality opponents will come in hand vs. Garner-Hayfield, who has only lost to ninth-ranked Spirit Lake this year.
After starting the year with three straight shutouts, and scoring over 160 points in the process, G-H ran into the Indians and lost, 29-7.
Wins over East Sac County and Clarion-Goldfield have them right back on track.
Braden Meints leads the offense, running for 469 yards on just 61 carries. Logan Miller has 320 yards, while Nic Tusha and Tyler Buck have over 200 each.
Expect the Titans to have formulated an intriguing defense to silence the Garner-Hayfield attack and pull out the home victory.
Bishop Garrigan (4-2, 3-1) at Mason City Newman (2-4, 2-2)
The Golden Bears, like most years, are right in the thick of things in October.
Two losses by a combined 11 points have not deterred BGHS and head coach Marty Wadle.
Garrigan has put it together the last two weeks, defeating West Hancock and Southeast Webster-Grand by a combined score of 96-6.
Six different players ran for 40 yards or more vs. the Eagles, led by Reece Wadle’s 75 and two touchdowns.
Wadle, who also completed two passes for 57 yards, didn’t get a chance to open it up as much due to the quick scoring by the Golden Bears.
On the year, Wadle has completed 60-percent of his passes for 343 yards, while rushing for another 234.
Brayton Loss leads Garrigan with 414 yards, while Connor Langerman has 293.
The focus tonight will be containing Joe Burgmeier, as the senior has ran for 620 yards and is averaging just over six yards per carry.
He’s missed some time due to injury, but had his best game a few weeks back, running for 323 yards and five scores vs. Lake Mills.
If the Golden Bears can keep Burgmeier under 100 yards, a victory should be in hand. Newman lost for the first time at home in district play since 2008 earlier this week to AGWSR.
LeMars (2-4) at Humboldt (4-2)
The Wildcats step out of district play for a week and receive LeMars at home.
After a couple of tough losses to Clear Lake and Waverly-Shell Rock, Humboldt needs to get back on track.
While this game won’t help them in the district race, it can help establish some momentum for the stretch run.
Look for a steady dose of Brady Ross and Nikko Wheeler from head coach Greg Thomas and crew.
Other area games: Iowa Falls-Alden (1-5, 0-3) at Algona (1-5, 0-4); No. 9 (2A) Spirit Lake (5-1, 3-0) at Clarion-Goldfield (2-4, 1-3); Cherokee (0-6) at East Sac County (3-3); Hartley-HMS (3-3, 2-2) at Emmetsburg (3-3, 3-0); South O’Brien (5-1, 2-1) at North Union (1-5, 0-3); Pocahontas Area (1-5, 1-2) at Ridge View (5-1, 3-1); Aplington-Parkersburg (2-4, 1-2) at Eagle Grove (0-6, 0-4); Lake Mills (3-3, 2-2) at Prairie Valley (3-3, 3-1); West Hancock (0-6, 0-4) at Southeast Webster-Grand (1-5, 0-4); No. 5 (8-man) West Bend-Mallard (7-0, 4-0) at CAL (0-6, 0-4); Northeast Hamilton (4-2, 2-2) at Laurens-Marathon (3-3, 2-2); Corwith-CWL (2-5, 1-3) at No. 3 (8-man) Newell-Fonda (6-0, 4-0).