Howard at Clark/Willow Lake 6:00
Howard has been the road warriors winning two straight on the road in the playoffs. They make their third straight road trip to Clark this week. Levi Loudenberg has been outstanding in the running game going over 200 yards the last two weeks in a row. Clark/Willow Lake features big play back Lane Hovde who has led their offensive output all season. Quarterback Tyson Jenkins has helped generate a ton of points over the past few weeks but they won’t be able to keep up with Howard who could be the best in the class. Howard wins by three scores.
Gregory at Deubrook 4:00
Deubrook was challenged for the first time this year last week against Potter County. Other than that two point win they’ve coasted through the regular season unbeaten. Quarterback Taylor Olsen does a nice job leading this team with well-timed passing, he’s put up 865 yards and 11TDs through the air. Ryan Knutson should get to the 2,000 yard marker this week, he has 1,922 yards right now with 34 touchdowns. That production will need to stay at top notch when they host a hot Gregory team led by quarterback Jaden Bartling. Gregory has won both their playoff games by 2-points and looks to be locked into another close one in White.
This game could go either way, if Gregory plays like they did against BEE where they turned the ball over multiple times but stayed the course, they could grind out a win. If Deubrook plays like they did last week they could be in trouble against a physical Gorilla team. I’ll take Gregory in a minor upset to get to the dome.
Arlington at Canistota 6:00
Canistota has dominated 9-man football like few other teams over the past three seasons. They take their perfect record against a quality DVC opponent in Arlington. Last week Arlington won in a shootout against Faith where Zach Warnke and Lane Weber combined for over 500 yards rushing. Quarterback Andrew King gives the Cardinals another dimension to their offense with 800+ yards passing. But the Hawks may simply be too fast, strong, big and experienced for the Cardinals to keep pace.
Cody Bunger has thrown for 841 yards and 15TDs this year and run for 534 yards and 14 TDs. Alex Robertson leads the ground attack with 928 yards and 13TDS but Eric Tieszen will often get the tough yards and has punched in 11TDs. Defensively the Hawks are air tight and will focus on containing the Cardinal running attack. Expect Canistota to get to 35 wins in a row.
Herreid/Selby at Warner 7:00
In this battle of undefeated teams, Cooper Schaefbauer, Nick Larson and Dakota Houck lead a talented offense for Herreid-Selby. They have coasted through the season with big wins against quality opponents like Corsica/Stickney, Potter County and Miller Area. Warner has seemed to be the favorite to make it to the dome. They have one of the best players in 9-man football Jarrod Tuszka who does it all for the Monarchs. Clay Rozell and Mitchell Boesl also give this team a lot of weapons. Warner’s signature win came at Leola last month when they beat Leola/Frederick 49-14. I think they have enough to outlast Herreid Selby at home.
Castlewood at Harding County 2:00
This could be the best matchup in all of 9-man. Harding County’s Jess Feist is a treat to watch but Castlewood will bring the Ching brothers (Lucas and Adam). Lucas has thrown for over 1300 yards could give Harding County a good game, but home field will win out. I’ll take Harding County.
Viborg-Hurley at Colome 6:00
If Viborg-Hurley plays their best game they could beat anyone in the class, but playing your best game against Colome is not easy. Colome features Terrance Kinzer and Andrew Odden rampaging on the ground. They’ll have to control the ball to keep it out of the hands of Tyler Gerdes, Andrew Hora, Trevor Jacobsen and Jack Huether of the Cougars. I expect Colome to edge out a victory in this one.