Area teams look to clinch playoff spots

After two months, we’ve arrived at the final Football Friday.

Week 9 presents a slew of interesting tilts, including a Top-5 battle in the land of 8-man.

No. 5 West Bend-Mallard travels to third-ranked Newell-Fonda with the district title hanging in the balance.

Last year, the Mustangs scored a convincing victory in West Bend, leaving the Wolverines to stew and wait for a chance at redemption.

While West Bend-Mallard and Newell-Fonda have clinched postseason spots, Humboldt needs a victory over Charles City on the road to secure a spot.

Prairie Valley has a chance to throw a wrench into the Class A, District 2 standings when they take on fourth-rated AGWSR.

Here’s a look at those games that hit the gridiron this evening:

No. 5 (8-man) West Bend-Mallard (9-0, 6-0) at No. 3 Newell-Fonda (8-0, 6-0)

These two have been posting video game-like stats since Week 1 and currently rank sixth and eighth in 8-man in scoring.

The numbers don’t end their, though, as Newell-Fonda leads the class in rushing yards (2,676) and is second in rushing TDs (50) and quarterback rating (239.4).

West Bend-Mallard is 13th in rushing yardage (2,115) and seventh in TDs (45).

Individually, Brady Bohe ranks 12th in the entire state with 1,426 yards and has scored 24 times. He is averaging over 10 yards per carry and also leads the team in tackles with 97.

Gabe Podraza has a combined 900-plus yards between throwing and rushing, including 12 scores on the ground.

For the Wolverines, it has been a group effort, spearheaded by Davey Jergens. The senior has 704 yards. 16 TDs and is averaging 10.5 yards per carry.

Jesse Zinnel has 11 scores and 384 yards, while Jordan Buhs has 370 and nine.

Newell-Fonda has been extra special in the turnover department this year, forcing 19. That has cut an already short field even shorter, providing for quick strikes and convincing victories.

If the Mustangs can continue to cause mistakes, they should be able to make it another perfect regular season and district title.

Prairie Valley (5-3, 5-1) at No. 4 (A) AGWSR (9-0, 6-0)

A win by the Warriors, and one from Bishop Garrigan over Lake Mills, would result in a three-way tie atop the district.

However, Prairie Valley will need to pull a rabbit out of its hat to do so, as the Cougars enter as one of the top teams in the state.

AGWSR has pitched three shutouts and allowed seven or few another three times, including last week.

There isn’t just one person to focus on either when trying to stop the Cougars, as four have ran for over 300 yards, led by Clay Meinders.

The junior has 708 yards and 13 touchdowns, while sophomore Levi Stockdale adds 602 and seven scores.

Prairie Valley has been on a roll since starting the year 0-3, winning five in a row, including back-to-back convincing wins over Lake Mills and West Hancock.

Austin Promes has ran for 805 yards and scored six touchdowns, while Ryan True has 381. Promes ran for 152 and three TDs a week ago.

Since taking over the starting quarterback job, Austin Wood has been incredible, completing almost 70-percent of his passes for 376 yards and five scores.

Wood also flashed his running ability, going for 91 yards and a score.

Humboldt (5-3, 2-3) at Charles City (2-6, 2-3)

The Wildcats have dropped three of their last four, leaving them scratching and clawing for a spot in the postseason.

Humboldt started off strong, winning four in a row – all of which were earned by 10 or more points.

Brady Ross will look to rebound off a disappointing performance last Friday vs. Webster City, as he was held to just 11 yards on 13 carries. Ross enters well over the 1,000-yard mark, and has scored 15 times.

After starting the year 0-4, the Comets posted back-to-back victories. However, they have since lost two in a row, allowing 80 points in the process.

Brian Foster anchors the offense, rushing for 768 yards and nine touchdowns. Levi Miller is 32 of 79 for 422 yards, but has been picked off eight times.

It will be important to get Ross going early and often to take the pressure off Jaxon Heinz, who has completed 66-percent of his passes for 711 yards and five TDs.

Other area games: No. 4 (3A) Clear Lake (8-0, 5-0) at Algona (2-6, 1-4); Webster City (7-1) at Storm Lake (2-6); Clarion-Goldfield (3-5) at Hampton-Dumont (5-3); South Central Calhoun (4-4, 4-1) at East Sac County (4-4, 1-4); LeMars Gehlen (4-4, 3-2) at Emmetsburg (4-4, 4-1); Manson Northwest Webster (6-2, 3-2) at Pocahontas Area (1-7, 1-4); No. 8 (A) Bishop Garrigan (6-2, 5-1) at Lake Mills (3-5, 2-4); Southeast Webster-Grand (2-6, 1-5) at Belmond-Klemme (4-4, 2-4); Graettinger-Terril (5-3, 4-2) at Corwith-CWL (2-7, 1-5); Laurens-Marathon (3-5, 2-4) at North Iowa (4-4, 2-4).