Mid-Prairie set for big clash at Williamsburg

With the first week of district play and half the season in the books, the playoff picture is becoming more clear. 

Each week for the next month, we will look at each team’s potential playoff hopes and what they will have to accomplish to be among the final 16 teams in each class. As of now, all three teams can stay dreaming about the playoffs and aren’t eliminated yet. 

According to Logan Hansen, who runs a ranking system for high school sports, there is a 90% chance of making the playoffs at a 7-2 record, a 55% chance at 6-3 and a 15% chance at 5-4. Below that, the chance is less than 1%. 

 

Mid-Prairie (3-2)

Status: On the right track.

Last week: Beat Central Lee 60-7. 

Next up: At Williamsburg (2-3)

 

Although not set in stone, Mid-Prairie is playing in the likely district title game this week. Williamsburg is the only other team in the district that has been competitive so far this season. 

The Williamsburg defense has given up more than 200 yards rushing per game through their first four games, something that should play well into the offensive style of Mid-Prairie. Currently Mid-Prairie leads the district in rushing touchdowns and rushing yards. They also have the top individual rusher in Kayden Reinier. Reinier has 559 yards on 96 rushes this season and has 10 touchdowns. 

Mid-Prairie can move their status from on the right track to in control if they come up with a win at Williamsburg this week. One concern for Mid-Prairie is their own rushing defense and containing the quick back from Williamsburg, Kaden Wetjen. Wetjen has averaged 8.4 yards per carry on 55 rushes and is prone to break loose for big gains. Williamsburg is averaging 170 yards per game on the ground and the Golden Hawks can’t afford to let the Raiders control the ground and the clock. 

Friday night will be a big test for the defensive line and Mid-Prairie linebackers. 

According to the BC Moore rankings the rest of the district is struggling this season. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, Davis County, Albia and Central Lee are four of the bottom six teams in Class 2A according to the rankings. 

 

Prediction 

Mid-Prairie 34, Williamsburg 28. 

BC Moore computer prediction 

Mid-Prairie by 3.5 points. 

 

Highland (3-2)

Status: On the hot seat. 

Last week: Lost 28-7 to BGM.

Next up: Versus Pekin (2-3).

 

Highland started off their district play with a disappointing loss to a ranked opponent in BGM that puts them in a must-win situation, the rest of the season. 

That starts with a Pekin team that has won two in a row after losing three to start the season. With two losses already, including one district loss to a team that looks to be in control (BGM), the Huskies will have to win out or lose only one more and have some luck in the ratings-percentrage index  standings if they want to make the playoffs. 

I say they are on the hot seat because they have some tough games yet to play. They can get back on the right track with a win over Pekin this week. The Huskies have put 275 yards per game on the ground, led by Cole Adamson with 542 yards this season. Pekin, on the other hand, has struggled against physical running teams. 

I expect the Huskies to get back in the win column this week. Highland head coach Joe Donovan put it best after their loss to BGM.

“We need to learn how to get gritty.”

 

Prediction

Highland 28 Pekin 14. 

BC Moore computer prediction

Highland by 1 point. 

 

Lone Tree (2-3)

Status: Holding on. 

Last week: Beat No. 9 Montezuma 69-63.

Next up: Versus. Winfield-Mount Union (1-4)

 

How about those Lions? For the second week in a row the Lone Tree football team has beat a ranked opponent. 

After starting the season 0-3 it seemed Lone Tree’s playoff hopes were dashed with the schedule they were set to face, but two weeks later the Lions are holding on. Currently HLV has a one-game lead on the rest of the district at 5-0 and 3-0 in district play. It makes the Lions 29-26 loss to the Warriors hurt even more, but if the Lions win out their tough strength of schedule should play in their favor in the RPI rankings. 

This week they will take on Winfield-Mount Union. Despite a 1-4 record, the Wolves are averaging north of 40 points per game. The Lions will have to keep Winfield-Mount Union quarterback Daunte Oepping in check in the air and on the ground to keep things rolling. 

 

Prediction 

Lone Tree 54 Winfield-Mount Union 26. 

BC Moore computer prediction 

Lone Tree by 18 points. 

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