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Dub. Senior (2-5, 1-2) at No. 2 Cedar Falls (7-0, 3-0)

Time: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Location: UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls

Radio: KCFI (1250 AM, 105.1 FM)

Last week: Cedar Falls throttled Waterloo West, 55-0, while Senior dropped a 26-20 heartbreaker to Dubuque Hempstead.

Last meeting: Cedar Falls held off the Rams 20-16 in the first round of the 2014 playoffs.

What to watch: Senior faces a huge challenge trying to slow down a Cedar Falls attack that is only gaining speed with the return of several injured players, including standout running back Sam Gary. Quarterback Cael Loecher is approaching 1,000 passing yards for the season (960), and Logan Wolf has been a matchup nightmare for the Tigers with 36 pass receptions for 647 yards and 13 touchdowns and three punt return TDs. An improving Senior offense, which has averaged 22 points its last three games and is led by North Dakota State commit Nick Kubitz, is up against a Cedar Falls defense that has four shutouts and two more games where it allowed just seven points. The Tigers have 14 takeaways, including 12 interceptions. Cedar Falls coach Brad Remmert: “We did some good things (last week). We talked about getting off to a little better start offensively, and we were able to do that. This week will be our seniors’ last regular-season home game. Some of those kids are three-year starters.”

On Senior: “They’ve been scoring more points offensively the last three games, and they’ve got a couple of big-play kids. We’re going to have to come out and play well, especially early.”

— Compiled by Sports Editor Doug Newhoff

Decorah (5-2, 3-0) at East (0-7, 0-3)

Time: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Location: Memorial Stadium, Waterloo

Last week: Decorah beat West Delaware 28-13, while East dropped a 38-14 decision to Waverly-Shell Rock.

Last meeting: First meeting.

What to watch: It comes down to a couple of big things for East coach Xavier Leonard, and probably the biggest is the Trojans ability to slow down the Vikings’ run game. Decorah’s passed only 62 times in seven games, and rely on running back Drake Shelton (102 carries, 819 yards, seven touchdowns) to power the Viking offense. The Trojans have struggled to stop the rush, giving up more than 200 rushing yards in all but one of its seven games. ... While stopping the run is a priority, East hopes to get its high-octane passing game going again as junior quarterback Dylan Reyes has thrown for 1,424 yards and nine scores.

East coach Xavier Leonard: “Just talked to a couple of seniors last night about how important it is for them to go out with a win in their final home game.

On Decorah, “We’ve had issues stopping the run. We have to find a way to get them into third and long, get them in uncomfortable positions. If we can stop the run, we will be in the game.”

— Compiled by Courier Sports Writer Jim Nelson

Waterloo West (3-4, 0-3) at No. 9 C.R. Prairie (6-1, 3-0)

Time: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Location: Prairie High School Stadium, Cedar Rapids

Last week: West dropped a 55-0 decision to second-ranked Cedar Falls. Prairie raced past Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 41-6.

Last meeting: These teams last met in the first round of the 2016 playoffs when Prairie outscored the Wahawks, 66-35.

What to watch: District play has been tough on West, which has lost twice by seven points or less before last week’s blowout. It won’t get any easier against No. 9 Prairie. Individually, Carter Maske has passed for 880 yards and 10 TDs for West, Isaac Tolbert has rushed for 567 yards and five scores, Tanner Pollock has 193 rushing yards and 312 receiving yards and Amel Saric has 23 pass receptions for 149 yards. Noah Susong leads the defense with 59.5 tackles, including 10.5 for loss. ... Prairie’s single-wing attack is built around the talented and explosive Keegan Simmons, who has rushed for 1,533 yards and 19 TDs while averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Tariq Amir has 631 rushing yards (11.1 per carry). The Hawks have attempted just 75 passes, completing 33 for 511 yards.

West coach Lonnie Moore: “As a program, we were all disappointed in Friday’s game, not just the outcome but the way we played the game. We’re a better team than that. This week they are excited to prove they are a better team. Our seniors are doing a great job encouraging the guys to make sure we finish out on a good note.”

On Prairie: “It’s another ranked team we get the chance to go out and play. Offensively, they do a lot of crazy stuff with their single-wing offense. It all comes down to their all-state running back. They put him all over the field and get him the ball in space. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s elusive, he’s durable. Everything you think of with a great running back, he’s got all those qualities.”

— Compiled by Sports Editor Doug Newhoff

Waterloo Columbus (5-2, 2-1) at North Fayette Valley (3-4, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: NFV High School, West Union

Last week: Columbus suffered its first district loss at No. 4 Waukon, 38-12. North Fayette Valley recovered from a district loss to Monticello with a win over Oelwein, 24-6.

Last meeting: North Fayette Valley dominated Columbus, 56-6, during a Week 7 game last year in West Union.

What to watch: These teams are part of a three-way tie with Monticello for second place behind Waukon in the Class 2A, District 4 standings. Columbus finishes against Monticello and NFV closes out its season against Waukon. Currently 16th in the RPI, Columbus likely needs to win out to secure a playoff spot. ... Four interceptions — including an early turnover at the opposition’s goal line — along with a muffed punt cost Columbus during last week’s top 10 showdown at Waukon. The Sailors’ defense did record two interceptions, while the Columbus offensive line has continued to protect well, and hasn’t surrendered a sack all season. ... North Fayette Valley will provide a different challenge after Waukon passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns against the Sailors last week. Mac Whelan leads the TigerHawks’ Wing-T stable with 570 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 109 attempts. Liam McIntyre has 96 carries for 470 yards and eight scores. Quarterback Brooks Hovden has thrown for 518 yards, and NFV has gouged the Sailors with the run setting up big pass plays in previous meetings.

Columbus coach Brad Schmit: On North Fayette Valley: “We have been better against the run than we have against the pass this season. You have a pretty good taste in your mouth in what we’re preparing for, but at the same time this is isn’t just your run of the mill offensive system. These guys have been running this for a long time. They execute at a very high level. It’s tough to simulate in practice.”

On playing for a playoff spot: “The guys do know it is win or go home. Being in this position is great. You’ve got to fight tooth and nail for your playoff life. These kids are looking forward to having the opportunity to compete, and playing meaningful games in October is something that hasn’t occurred in Columbus in a long while.”

— Compiled by Sports Writer Nick Petaros

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Sports Editor for The Courier

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