Garrigan, N-F try to reach the Dome
One more win and the Bishop Garrigan and Newell-Fonda football teams will be headed to Cedar Falls and the UNI-Dome.
To do so, though, both will have to avenge 2012 playoff losses to their respective opponents.
The Golden Bears take on top-ranked (Class A) West Lyon in Inwood, while the Mustangs meet defending eight-man state champion Marcus-MMC on the road.
Both games kick at 7 p.m.
Bishop Garrigan (9-2 overall) has won seven straight since starting the year 2-2. They will be tasked with upending perennial power West Lyon (11-0), which knocked them out of the postseason a year ago in the opening round.
As is always the case with a Marty Wadle-coached team, running the football and sound defense are keys.
In the playoffs, Garrigan has done both, racking up back-to-back games of 300-plus yards, while outscoring West Sioux and Hinton 102-41.
Brayton Loss is nearing the 1,000-yard mark, rushing for 909 and 12 scores. Reece Wadle is a dual-threat, running for 532 yards and nine touchdowns, while throwing for 488 and six.
Ben Vaske, Connor Langerman and David Klein anchor the defensive unit with over 90 tackles each. Klein also has three sacks, five fumble recoveries and a pair of interceptions.
West Lyon’s closest game to date was a pair of 23-point wins over Central Lyon and Mason City Newman.
Kaleb Heyer is the leading rusher, racking up 1,021 yards on just 101 carries. He has scored 18 times, while senior classmate Bennett Feuchtenberger has 813 yards on the ground.
In a second round win over Lawton-Bronson, four different West Lyon players averaged nine yards or better per carry on the ground.
Other A quarterfinals include Audubon vs. Avoca-AHST, defending state champion Wapsie Valley at Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Pekin vs. Brooklyn-BGM.
Newell-Fonda takes on the task of Marcus-MMC (10-1), which took the class by storm en route to winning the school’s first-ever state championship last year.
The third-ranked Mustangs were knocked off in the quarters, just missing out on securing a berth in the dome.
After losing several key starters, Brian Wilken and his N-F coaching staff went to work plugging in new faces. That includes Gabe Podraza, who directs one of the top offenses in the state.
Podraza accounted for six touchdowns last week in a win over Graettinger-Terril, while Brady Bohe eclipsed the 200-yard mark again.
Bohe has over 1,800 yards rushing this year and 30 touchdowns, while his senior partner Podraza has 715 and 17 scores.
Podraza also has completed 61-percent of his passes for 759 yards and 17 touchdowns against just two interceptions.
On the other side of the ball, Bohe, Dalton Anderson and Bryce Nielsen pace the defense. Anderson has seven combined interceptions and fumble recoveries.
In the game of eight-man, with an emphasis on offense, Newell-Fonda has allowed no more than 26 points in a game. They have held their opponents to single digits four times, including a 73-0 shutout of Kingsley-Pierson in Week 2.
Marcus-MMC avenged a regular season loss to West Bend-Mallard by beating them last week, 28-18. They have won nine straight, including a stretch of scoring 50-or-more eight times.
Like Newell-Fonda, MMC was forced to replace many starters from a year ago. Dylan Spieler has stepped right in to the quarterback void, passing for almost 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Conner Holmes and Derek Erdman, both underclassmen, have ran for over 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns, while Spieler has scored 16 times on the ground.
In other eight-man quarterfinal round action, Glidden-Ralston takes on Exira-EHK, Springville battles Don Bosco and Wayne meets Adair-Casey.
The state semifinals begin next Thursday with eight-man games in the morning at 9 a.m. and noon. Class A takes to the field Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The finals in both classes will be played back-to-back Thursday, Nov. 21 starting at 10 a.m.