Top ten teams collide in Class 2A Friday night as 6th ranked New Hampton hosts #7 Union. Both teams come in averaging more than forty points per contest, and Union coach Joe Hadachek says New Hampton has a lot of weapons at their disposal. He says you have to be aware of the run game and then they can also suck you in with the run game and throw a pass that catches you off guard.
Union counters with what Hadachek calls a “strike-first” offense led by All-State quarterback Jay Scheel. The junior has both passed and rushed for thirteen scores this year. “He’s a gifted athlete and he obviously uses his gifts to the maximum for us and gives us an extra dimension where the defense has to know where he is every single play,” Hadchek says. He says Scheel can also take a broken play and turn it into a touchdown.
Hadachek says Union is specifically planning to slow down their offense to keep the ball out of Chickasaw hands, but likes to think his players will be able to play that kind of game if the need arises.
The Knights can clinch the district championship with a win, while New Hampton would still have to top Waukon in Week 9 for the Chickasaws to claim the crown.
New Hampton coach Scott Frerichs says it will be a difficult task both weeks and says Scheel is the key to the Union offense.
Frerichs says they will need to mix it up on offense to try and keep the Union defense off balance.
The district championship will be on the line tonight just outside of Fairbank, where class A second-ranked Wapsie Valley plays host to number ten Starmont. Both teams like to run first, but have quarterbacks capable of softening up the opposing defense.
Wapsie coach Tony Foster says the two squads are very similar as both have experience and strong running games. He says the experience shows in the things the players do in games.
Starmont will use three different backs in their rushing attack, and according to Foster there’s not one that the defense can focus on.
Foster says one other element of the Stars’ scheme is a little deception on the offensive line as they give some false keys and will double team up front.
Wapsie Valley is already assured a spot in the Class A playoffs, but Foster says his team puts a lot of emphasis on becoming district champions as well.
Starmont coach Matt Lee says his team is thrilled to be playing a game of this magnitude. “This is what you preach to your kids when you start football practice in the middle of August when it’s hotter than blazes,” Lee says.
Lee says the Stars will challenge an outstanding Wapsie Valley defense with an offense that is more balanced than in past years.
Lee says to have a chance the Stars will need to limit mistakes on offense and be sound on defense.
In class 4A apair of unbeatens collide in the UNI-Dome as fourth ranked Cedar Falls hosts number five Cedar Rapids Xavier. Both Cedar Falls and Xavier enter tonight’s game with identical 7-0 records, but the similarities don’t stop there. Both teams are built around strong running games and bend-but-don’t-break defenses.
Cedar Falls co-head coach Brad Remmert says the two squads are almost mirror images of each other.This year’s Xavier team is more offensively balanced than most of their units have been in past seasons, but Tiger co-head coach Pat Mitchell says Xavier is still a run-first club.
Cedar Falls was able to put their offense on a short field in last Friday’s 35-0 win over Dubuque Wahlert, and Remmert says they’ll try to do the same thing this week. On the other side of things, Mitchell says that Xavier’s defense is very athletic and very fundamentally sound.
Tonight’s winner will claim the Mississippi Valley’s Valley Division title.
Hear the results and highlights from these games tonight beginning at 10 p.m. on Radio Iowa’s Football Friday Night on your local radio station or on RadioIowa.com.
By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls