West Liberty (2-2, 2-0) at Anamosa (2-2, 1-1)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: West Liberty beat Northeast 28-14. Anamosa beat Mediapolis 14-13.
Key stat: Anamosa's defense has forced nine turnovers, seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries, in the first four games.
What to watch: Even without one of their top returning players in Bryce Esmoil, the Comets stayed undefeated in district play last week with three total touchdowns from sophomore quarterback Seth Feldman, who threw for two and ran for another. Spencer Daufeldt led a quartet of West Liberty defenders that had at least two tackles for loss each as he collected three stops for negative yardage. Michael Martensen has led the way for the run-focused Raiders with 524 yards and seven rushing touchdowns.
West Liberty coach Jason Iske: "We've just got to keep improving. The big thing we talked about today was coming out to a fast start like we did against Northeast. We could've put Northeast away, though, and we didn't so we've talked about keeping that fast start going. Anamosa runs the triple-option, and that's always tough to defend, especially with a team like Anamosa so good at running it, so we just have to do our jobs, we can't take that play off, can't fall asleep."
Columbus Community (1-3, 0-2) at Wapello (3-1, 1-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last week: Columbus lost to Louisa-Muscatine 19-14. Wapello beat Van Buren 56-20.
Key stat: In Wapello's three victories this season, the Indians have outscored their opponents 129-33.
What to watch: Wapello got back to business after a district-opening loss to 1A No. 1 Iowa City Regina in Week 3, with Adrian Lanz running for four touchdowns on 157 rushing yards for Wapello against Van Buren and Logan Belzer throwing three touchdown passes. The Wildcats bounced back a bit from a 42-0 district-opening loss but ultimately came up short against Louisa-Muscatine, but don't count out Columbus' balanced running attack or wide receiver Ruben Paz' big-play potential.
Columbus Community coach Scott Symmonds: "We played hard and played well last week but we didn't execute well so the emphasis has just been on execution all week, on both sides of the ball where we had enough fundamental breakdowns. Wapello brings really good size and great strength and football savvy, but we have a good speed element that we'd like to utilize."
Wapello coach Todd Parsons: "I know we're playing a Columbus ... offense they run you have to do assignment every play, they've got speed in the backfield and a QB that can hurt with feet or his arm. Our defense has to play well tomorrow night, tackle well and be disciplined with our eyes on our keys. Offense is still progressing, like to think we've got a few different weapons we can use. We had some execution mistakes that we tried to clean up this week, always room for improvement."
Wilton (4-0, 2-0) at Louisa-Muscatine (2-2, 2-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last week: Wilton beat Highland 35-18. Louisa-Muscatine beat Columbus 19-14.
Key stat: Jerome Mays has 12 touchdowns through the first four games, five through the air and seven on the ground, and is tied with Sigourney-Keota's Avery Moore (10 rushing, 2 receiving) for the most touchdowns in Class 1A District 4.
What to watch: The Falcons are looking to play spoiler for a Wilton team looking to keep rolling and set up for a major clash with 1A No. 1 Iowa City Regina in Iowa City next Friday. L-M will have a tall task against a Wilton team playing well on both sides of the ball, led by Mays and two-way star Bryce Oveson, who has seven rushing touchdowns along with five solo tackles for loss. Wilton has scored at least 32 points in each of its first four games this season. The Falcons had a good night running the ball last Friday against Columbus, with three different L-M runners gaining at least 66 yards each on the ground, led by Hunter Connor's 95-yard night and two touchdowns from quarterback Jake Hillard.
Wilton coach Ryan Hetzler: "We've done well. Last week guys came out with bumps and bruises and have been focused on getting healthy, but we've not once mentioned Regina, we haven't said it. It may be on some of the guys' minds, but we've focused on L-M and we know they'll be a tough team. In years' past, they've changed the offense from what we've been used to seeing and run more of a spread look, and they've got some good athletes out there. Looks like the quarterback is healthy again and playing to his potential, and there's a couple running backs that if we let loose they can be good runners."
Louisa-Muscatine coach Andrew Genz: "Wilton's quick on offense, no denying that, just look at the scores. We're working on trying to be competitive on defense and keeping the ball on offense for an extended amount of time and play our kind of hard-nosed football, getting 2-4 yards a pop and just running through that all week. I think the biggest thing from last week is we were down at halftime and we had to regroup and the guys were excited for second half. It showed if we put our mind to it we can battle through it. We know our guys can handle the adversity and make it a close game."
North Cedar (0-4, 0-2) at Durant (1-3, 0-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last week: North Cedar lost to Clayton Ridge 50-13. Durant lost to Bellevue 44-0.
Key stat: North Cedar has been outscored 154-26 in its first four games this season.
What to watch: After some tough matchups in the last three weeks, Durant could get something going against a struggling Knights team that could give the Wildcats, win or lose, some momentum going into another difficult challenge at West Branch next week. North Cedar has generated just 495 yards of total offense through four weeks, but has been able to generate five fumble recoveries, the highest total of any team in the 1A District 3 field. Bryce Bemer and Colin Sander are each averaging over five yards per game for the Knights.
Durant coach Greg White: "We watched the tape from Bellevue, pointed out what we did wrong, and worked on those things this week, basically challenging the kids and telling them you can't play a football game like that. We've worked hard on getting the passion level high and working on some certain skill sets. We're a team built around the offensive and defensive line and in the trenches is where we're working on being gap-sound and finishing blocks to the whistle. We're not taking North Cedar lightly, they have a fast running back, solid QB and a great tight end. And we've reminded the guys that last year they came in winless on our senior night and beat us. We're just reminding the guys to take care of our business first."