Muscatine at Bettendorf

Basics: Friday, approx. 7:15 p.m.

Where: TouVelle Stadium

Twitter: @mattcoss78

Last meeting: Bettendorf 20, Muscatine 10 (2013)

Overview: District opener for both teams, Muskies (3-1) are ranked seventh in 4A and Bulldogs (2-2) eighth this week. Muscatine tailback Alphonso Soko is second in 4A rushing with 661 yards. Bettendorf's Keegan Glaus has eclipsed 100 yards on ground in each of past three games. 

Matt's take: With experience and playmaking skills of QB Luke Wichers, Soko and receiver Drew Greenhaw, Muscatine will pose the stiffest test for Bettendorf's secondary since facing West Des Moines Valley in Week 1. Muscatine's concern is matching Bettendorf's physicality in the trenches. The Muskies have surrendered more than 200 yards rushing the past two weeks.

— Matt Coss

United Township at Alleman

Basics: Friday, approx. 7:45 p.m.

Where: Lindberg Stadium, Rock Island

Twitter: @Meens55

Last meeting: Alleman 34, UT 14 (2015)

Overview: It is Alleman's homecoming game. Both teams know this is their best chance at a win over the next few weeks. Alleman rushed for 334 yards last week while UT compiled 113. 

Jim's take: Whichever team plays four full quarters should prevail. Coach Todd Depoorter wants Pioneers to control line of scrimmage and keep improving on tackling and moving the football. Last week the Pioneers had two drives of 16 plays and another of 15 but only managed six points on those drives. UT coach Joe Morrissey is impressed with Pioneers' discipline and ability to play hard. He also believes his Panthers are improving, even if it does not show in stats. He's seeing good effort in practice.

— Jim Meenan

 

Sterling at Geneseo

Basics: Friday, approx. 7:15 p.m.

Where: Bob Reade Field, Geneseo

Twitter: @BobbyMetcalf88

Last meeting: Sterling 17, Geneseo 14 (2015)

Overview: This game has routinely determined conference champion. Since 1996, the two teams have combined for 17 conference titles and 12 runner-up finishes. Sterling is ranked second in Class 5A and has outscored opponents 190-26. Geneseo is ranked fourth in 4A and showed a rare balanced attack last week in a 41-13 win over Ottawa.

Bobby's take: Geneseo must withstand the speed of the Sterling no-huddle offense and also must run the ball more effectively after managing just 77 yards on 41 carries last year. This starts a brutal stretch for Maple Leafs, with three of next five opponents ranked in 5A. A win would go a long way toward starting a confident stretch.

— Bobby Metcalf