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Week 5 Prep Football Preview

September 21, 2012
By TIMES-REPUBLICAN STAFF ( , Times-Republican

Ottumwa (2-3) at Marshalltown (3-2)

The series resumes for the first time since 2003 as Marshalltown hosts Ottumwa in a Class 4A Division 3 contest at Leonard Cole Field.

The winner will take a leg up in the all-time series, which currently rests in a 4-all tie. The two teams first squared off in 1905.

Ottumwa has suffered back-to-back losses to CIML programs Des Moines East and Indianola. The Bulldogs have balance on offense but have managed just 20 points per game, while Marshalltown ranks 12th in 4A with a 33.8 point per game average behind the state's most prolific passing attack.

Saydel (0-5, 0-2) at South Tama (3-1, 1-1)

The visiting Eagles will need to score more than their 5.4 average to catch a South Tama squad that will be determined to put last week's 1-point setback at Newton - their first defeat of the season - to rest.

The Trojans will lean on senior tailback Kyle Stephenson, the 12th-leading rusher in the state. At 764 yards on the season, Stephenson is one big game away from reaching 1,000 for the first time in his career.

STC senior linebacker Erik Lux is tied for seventh in Class 3A in tackles for loss and will lead the charge against Saydel's run-first offense.

Roland-Story (1-3, 0-1) at East Marshall (2-3, 0-0)

The Mustangs make their Class 2A District 7 debut against a similarly designed Roland-Story squad. The Norse are a run-oriented bunch that have attempted just 33 passes this season.

East Marshall, meanwhile, has put up just 24 pass attempts while assembling the second-best rushing attack in 2A and fifth-best in the state. The Mustangs' 1-2 combo of Zach Rubenbauer and Josh Wilson has accumulated 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground this season.

The team is searching for a rebound having lost three of its last four, same as Roland-Story. The Norse are led by quarterback Evan Johnson, who has thrown for 324 yards and run for 232.

West Marshall (5-0, 1-0) at North Polk (3-2, 2-0)

An 0-2 start to the season did nothing to discourage North Polk, which has gone 3-0 since and leads 2A District 7 with a 2-0 mark. The Comets' old ways of pounding the ball on the ground have changed, as North Polk ranks fourth in 2A in passing.

West Marshall, meanwhile, boasts the best rushing attack in 2A and the leading rusher in the state. Duncan Ferch has gobbled up 1,290 yards and 19 touchdowns on just 125 carries, averaging 10.3 yards per attempt.

North Polk baseball standout Jacob Hadaway has been QB Cole Jackson's top target, hauling in half of his 62 completions for 491 yards and five scores.

AGWSR (3-2, 0-2) at SE Webster-Grand (2-2, 0-2)

A pair of fast-starting teams try and snap their respective skids in what will be the first Class A District 2 win for the victor.

AGWSR's time-consuming rushing attack has been unable to match its defense, which still ranks 19th in Class A (16.2 ppg) despite a hefty loss to ranked West Hancock two weeks ago. The Cougars haven't allowed more than 14 points per game aside from that setback.

Southeast Webster-Grand snapped its lengthy losing streak with back-to-back wins to open the season, but the Eagles have been outscored 88-21 since. Wide receiver Nolan Mitchell has 11 catches for 312 yards and six touchdowns.

Belle Plaine (3-1, 1-0) at GMG (1-4, 0-2)

GMG searches for its first win in Class A District 4 play against one of the stingiest teams in the state. Belle Plaine has surrendered just 7.5 points per game this season - fifth-best in the class.

GMG has rushed for better than 1,000 yards this season but hasn't come up with the points to go with them. Homecoming King Blake Warren has gained 447 yards at an average of 7 yards per carry, but the Wolverines are netting just 15 points per game.

Belle Plaine hasn't posted many more points, just 16 per game, but the Plainsmen have allowed only 30 points all year. The backfield tandem of Adam Daily and Lance Hinschberger have combined for 567 yards and four touchdowns.

Grundy Center (1-3, 1-1) at Iowa Valley (3-2, 0-2)

Iowa Valley's potent running attack has run struggled to get it going in Class A District 4 play, and the Tigers' 3-0 start has fizzled.

Grundy Center, meanwhile, found its stride for the first time this season with a decisive district victory last week over GMG. The Spartans tallied 43 points to top the Wolverines after having a combined 16 points in their three previous losses to start the season.

All-purpose back Dylan Lyman has alotted 636 yards from scrimmage, leading the team with 516 yards and three touchdowns rushing.

North Tama (4-1, 2-0) at BCLUW (1-3, 0-1)

Eighth-ranked North Tama has one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the state with senior Jacob Wrage running the offense. Wrage has rushed for 292 yards and throwing for another 870, ranking him second in Class A and 16th in the state.

The Redhawks' renowned defense has stiffened back up since Aplington-Parkersburg put 52 points on North Tama in Week 1. Senior Nolan Hefty leads all of Class A with 87 tackles through five games.

BCLUW has looked to its passing attack to get the job done this season while searching for balance from its ground game. The Comets have faced a solid schedule thus far and it gets no easier tonight. QB Conner Ubben ranks 13th in the class with 508 passing yards.

Seymour (0-5, 0-3) at Meskwaki Settlement (0-4, 0-3)

One of the last 10 teams in 8-man football without a win will find one tonight as Seymour visits Meskwaki Settlement for a District 5 showdown.

Seymour has managed just shy of 10 points per game while the hosting Warriors will try to better their 18.5 point per game average.

Lamoni (4-1, 1-1) at Colo-NESCO (3-2, 2-1)

The Royals have found their footing in 8-man football after an 0-2 start against ranked powerhouses. Colo-NESCO's backfield tandem of Brandyn Niemeyer and Adam Lytle have powered the boys in blue with a combined 1,258 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

Lamoni recovered from a 28-point loss to top-ranked Adair-Casey with a shellacking of winless Seymour, and this clash with Colo-NESCO could have future playoff implications.

The visiting Demons are led by quarterback Jackson Carr's 469 yards and 12 passing touchdowns. He is also one of three Lamoni backs with better than 290 rushing yards.