Small school football preview

Backyard Brawl on schedule between Cobras, Panthers

Pekin’s Gage Gillam (54) and Cael Baker (65) work to block a Mediapolis defender Friday at Mediapolis in a 20-3 loss to the Bulldogs. (Dana Royer/Courtesy)
Pekin’s Gage Gillam (54) and Cael Baker (65) work to block a Mediapolis defender Friday at Mediapolis in a 20-3 loss to the Bulldogs. (Dana Royer/Courtesy)

Friday night promises to be exciting with prep football being played, including a game with a name.

No. 5 Sigourney-Keota (4-0) at Pekin (1-2)

In last year’s Backyard Brawl, Sigourney-Keota snapped a two-game losing streak in the series with a 34-14 win. Maybe its fitting that 2020 has the unlucky number of the 13th contest in the series. In its first game back from a COVID quarantine, Pekin outgained Mediapolis last week in a loss to the Bulldogs. The Cobras seem to have a hold on Class 1A District 6 with big wins (41-0, 48-13) the result of early scores from turnovers, special teams, offensive line play and a sturdy defense.

Pekin’s Michael Jones had 150 yards rushing against Mepo.

Mid-Prairie (2-1) at No. 2 Williamsburg (4-0)

The second-ranked Raiders went to the Class 2A state semifinals last year, but Mid-Prairie led its game at halftime last year before losing 28-6. The Raiders have won six straight with the last Golden Hawks win 21-19 in 2009.

Mid-Prairie’s Kayden Reinier leads all of Class 2A in rushing TDs with 11 and is sixth in yards at 600.

Williamsburg has taken to the air with Levi Weldon throwing for 532 yards with seven TDs and three interceptions. Two backs have combined for 571 yards rushing.

Cardinal (3-1) at Mediapolis (3-1)

Cardinal faces its biggest game yet in a Class 1A District 6 matchup with Mediapolis. The Comets are 1-0 in the district, the Bulldogs 2-0.

Comet quarterback Blaine Bryant has been stellar since stepping in for injured quarterback Maddux Jones. He has 504 passing yards and six touchdowns, and leads the team in rushing, with 115 yards and a score. Griffin Greiner is having a fantastic year as a receiver, catching 20 passes for 417 yards and six touchdowns, with two rushing.

Louisa-Muscatine (0-4) at Van Buren County (1-2)

It’s homecoming at Van Buren County High School.

Sophomore running back Sam Warth has rumbled his way to 304 yards receiving and five touchdowns through VBC’s first three games. He’ll have an enticing matchup against an L&M team that has given up an average of 41.75 points per game.

The Warriors will look to enact some revenge on the Falcons. L&M has beaten VBC in each of the last four years and has outscored the Warriors 153-12 in those matchups.

WACO (2-2) at Tri-County 1-3

WACO looks to repeat its dominant performance last week when it dumped Moravia 44-13. The Warriors saw another great performance by quarterback Will Edeker, who has passed for six touchdowns this year and ran for six more.

Tri-County picked up a 42-28 win over Twin Cedars last week. Before that game, the Trojans had scored just 16 points in their first three matchups. WACO has dominated the Trojans in their last three games, going 3-0 and outscoring Tri-County 182-34.

Wapello (1-2) at Columbus (2-2)

These two teams have defeated Highland in consecutive weeks. Wapello won at home two weeks ago over the Huskies 42-13. The Wildcats rebounded from a 57-0 loss to No. 8 Lisbon to win last week’s Class A District 6 game at Highland 49-27. The Wildcats saw Highland take a two-touchdown lead and answered with the next 42 points. Will Scwab has 470 yards rushing for Columbus and Tucker Bright 213 receiving. Wapello’s balanced attack has 446 yards passing and 656 rushing. The Indians lost 43-16 to No. 3 Iowa City Regina last week.

North Cedar (0-3) at Highland (0-3)

Highland gets a home game to turn around its start. Owen Donovan leads the Huskies with 403 yards rushing on 61 carries. The Knights have just 48 yards rushing in three games, but 301 through the air on 21-of-52 passes.