The Ottumwa Courier

October 12, 2012

Pieces of playoff puzzle falling into place

JAMES GROB
Courier sports editor

OTTUMWA — With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the final pieces of the postseason playoff puzzle are falling into place.

In Class 3A, the Fairfield Trojans — who started the season 0-5 — are now looking for one victory in order to secure a postseason playoff spot. In Class 2A, Albia and Davis County are both likely in the playoffs, but there’s still a question of seeding. In Class 1A, Sigourney-Keota is tied with three other teams for two remaining playoff spots. In Eight-Player action, Twin Cedars and Tri-County are in the hunt for a fourth and final spot.

In Class 3A, District 7, Williamsburg and Washington have all but secured the top two playoff spots. The final two spots are between three teams — Keokuk (2-2), Mount Pleasant (2-2) and Fairfield (2-3). Fairfield defeated Mount Pleasant two weeks ago, so one more Trojan win would put them ahead of Mount Pleasant in the district race. Fairfield (2-3, 2-5 overall) is hoping that will come tonight against winless Centerville (0-4, 0-7).

Centerville is coming off a 42-6 loss to Carlisle. Carlisle shut down the Big Red running game but the Big Reds’ Michael Starcevich passed for 150 yards and a 14-yard touchdown to Levi Sebolt.

Fairfield took an 8-7 win over Fort Madison last week. Mason Carnahan rushed for 154 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown run. Spencer Peterman had six catches for 63 yards, and also scored the two-point conversion that proved to be the difference in the Fairfield win.

Fairfield’s Dillon Fry has thrown for 974 yards this season and nine touchdowns. Carahan has rushed for 816 yards and six scores on the season.

In other Class 3A action tonight, in District 8, Chariton (0-5, 1-6) is at Winterset (4-1, 5-2) and Oskaloosa (1-3, 1-6) is at Pella (4-0, 5-2).

In Class 2A, District 6, Bondurant-Farrar (5-0, 7-0) looks like the title winner after its 32-13 victory over Davis County (2-2, 5-2) last week. Albia (4-1, 6-1) and PCM (3-1, 4-4) each have one loss, while Davis County has two losses — to Albia and B-F. The Mustangs travel to PCM tonight and need to bounce back quickly.

Pass-happy PCM is led by quarterback Nate VandeWall, who has thrown for over 1900 yards and 21 touchdowns. His top target is Ethan Kain, who has 837 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions on the season.

The Mustangs will look to slow down the passing attack and counter with a balanced offensive approach, as Calvin Utt has thrown for 1117 yards and rushed for 619, while Colton Roberts has compiled 619 yards on the ground.

Albia is at Interstate 35 (0-4, 0-7) tonight. Albia is coming off a 33-20 win over C-M-B, a game in which Alex Schultz rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown. Austin Luse added two rushing scores, while Matt Baker and Brett Leshen also had rushing scores.

Leshen passed for 148 yards and a 50-yard touchdown to Zach Hugen.

In Class 1A, District 6, Cardinal (0-4, 3-4) is at Sigourney-Keota (2-2, 3-4). The Cobras are in a three-way tie for third place in the district, with only two teams able to earn a postseason berth. Both West Branch and Wapello have 2-2 district records, while top-ranked Iowa City Regina is currently 4-0 and Wilton is 4-1.

Also in Class 1A, District 6, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (1-4, 2-5) is at West Branch (2-2, 5-2). In Class A, District 5, Van Buren (1-4, 1-6) plays at Winfield-Mount Union (0-5, 0-7) and in District 6, Pekin (4-1, 6-1) can secure second place in the league with a win at Southeast Warren (0-5, 0-7). Also, North Mahaska (1-4, 1-7) is at Pleasantville (0-5, 0-7).

In Eight-Player, District 5, HLV (6-0), Wayne (5-1) and Melcher-Dallas (5-1) have locked up the first three playoff spots, while Twin Cedars (2-3) and Tri-County (2-3) are both battling for the final place. Meskwaki Settlement (1-4, 2-5) is at Tri-County (2-3, 2-5) tonight while Twin Cedars (2-3, 3-4) plays at Moravia (0-5, 0-8).