OTTUMWA — It started out in the midst of a heat wave that gripped the entire state.
About the only hot part about tonight’s final full Friday night of prep football action will be the battle for district titles and playoff berths.
From triple-digit temperatures over two months ago to frosty 40-degree conditions tonight, a lot can change from the opening week to the final week a of high school football year. For a lot of area teams, that’s something they’ve already figured out.
Now, with one final night of games left to play out, some teams know exactly what fate awaits them in the upcoming week. Some teams have seen postseason hopes fade away.
For most, however, there is still plenty left to be decided tonight. From district titles to determining home field for Wednesday’s opening round. From determining who will play who on Wednesday to determining who will still be playing football on Wednesday, there’s a lot left to do in putting the playoff picture together around the area.
Here, however, are the pieces to the 2013 area football postseason puzzle heading into tonight.
Class 4A, Division 3
Who’s in: Dowling Catholic, Ankeny Centennial.
Who’s on the bubble: Ottumwa, Mason City, Des Moines Hoover.
Who need help: Marshalltown.
Andy Heintz has more on the precise stakes of the Bulldogs’ regular season finale with Des Moines Hoover. To sum it up, however, tonight’s game in Des Moines is basically a playoff to get into the playoffs as only the winner of tonight’s OHS-Hoover game will have a chance to play on Wednesday night in the opening round of 4A’s postseason.
Class 3A, District 7
Who’s in: Centerville, Washington, Williamsburg.
Who’s on the bubble: Fairfield.
Who needs help: Keokuk.
Although, frankly, Fairfield and Keokuk both could be in the category of ‘on the bubble’ or ‘needing help.’ The Trojans have surged from the cellar back into control of a playoff spot in this district thanks to the freshman quarterback Cameron Baumann, who has led Fairfield to three consecutive wins including last Friday’s thrilling 46-31 comeback victory.