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Decorah (8-2) at

No. 1 C.R. Xavier (10-0)

  • When: Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Head coaches: C.R. Xavier, Duane Schulte. Decorah, Pat Trewin.
  • Postseason history: Decorah is making its 25th appearance and owns five state titles, the most recent in 2015. The Vikings knocked the Saints out of the playoffs in the 2015 second round. ... Xavier is in for the 15th time and 13th straight since Regis and LaSalle consolidated. The Saints won titles in 2006 (4A) and were last year's 3A champs.
  • Opening statements: Decorah knocked off Clear Creek-Amana 17-6 in the first round while Xavier fought off longtime nemesis Pella, 14-6.
  • Quick slants: These perennial powers met in Week 2 of the regular season with Xavier handing Decorah its worst defeat since 2004, 45-3. Braden Stovie rushed for 188 yards for the Saints, and the Xavier defense allowed Decorah just 137 total yards - all rushing. For the season, Decorah averages 27 points, 242.4 rushing yards and 304.5 total yards per game while allowing 16.9 points per game. Xavier has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 40.9-3.4. Only one opponent has scored more than seven points against the Saints, and they have five shutouts. Jon Bell has 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Xavier's 364.3 total offense average ranks seventh in 3A. Individually, Quinn Schulte has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 1,352 yards and 22 TDs with two interceptions for Xavier. Stovie has rushed for 1,050 and averages 7.6 per carry. Kyle Moeder has 29 pass receptions for 660 yards (22.8 avg.) with eight TDs and Matt Jordebreak has caught six TD passes. ... Decorah's Jace Johnson has passed for 621 yards and seven scores with one interception, and Drake Shelton has 1,197 rushing yards (8.2 per carry). Defensively, Carston Baumler has 19 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Both teams have been excellent on special teams. Decorah kicker Cameron DeLong is 30 of 32 on PATs and 7 of 10 on field goals with a long of 40 yards while Kailer McCabe averages 44.1 yards on nine kickoff returns with two TDs and Shelton averages 14.1 yards per punt return with one score. Xavier's Ben Conrad is perfect on 54 PAT attempts and 9 of 11 on field goals with a 48-yarder. The Saints average 23.7 yards on punt returns with one TD.

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Sports Editor

Sports Editor for The Courier

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