Midland (9-2) vs.
No. 1 Don Bosco (11-0)
Time: Thursday, 9:06 a.m.
Location: UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls
Postseason history: Midland is making its seventh appearance and lost to eventual champion Don Bosco in the semifinals a year ago. ... Don Bosco is making its seventh straight appearance and owns a 21-4 playoff record that includes titles in 2013 and 2016, along with runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2015.
Road to the Dome: Midland took out Janesville, 42-7, then escaped Tripoli last week, 52-50 when the Panthers missed a game-winning field goal ... Don Bosco demolished Moravia and HLV by identical 62-0 scores.
Quick slants: Midland lost its season-opener to Don Bosco, 60-26, but has won nine of its last 10 games and five straight. The Eagles average 54.5 points and allow 28.6. Offensively, the attack revolves around senior running back Austin Smith, who leads the state with 2,832 yards and averages 9.9 per carry with 46 touchdowns. Smith has 287 carries, while the rest of the team has a combined 165. Altogether, Midland averages 341.6 rushing yards per game and 102.8 passing. Defensively, the Eagles have 22 takeaways. Griffin Gravel is the leading tackler with 49 solos and 61 assists. Hunter Rushford has nine solo tackles for loss and seven quarterback sacks. ... Don Bosco has scored at least 60 points in every game it has played this season (two wins were by forfeit). Wyatt Sawvel leads a potent offense with 1,191 passing yards (132.3 per game) and 1,024 rushing yards. He’s thrown just two interceptions with 23 TDs and has rushed for 25 more scores. Austin Svoboda has 822 rushing yards, Thomas Even 572 and Austin Hellman 569. As a team, the Dons average 358 rushing yards per game and the top four ball carriers average a collective 11.4 yards per carry. Cael Tenold tops the receiving corps with 17 catches for 400 yards and nine TDs, and Svoboda has 16 receptions for 383 yards and seven scores. Defensively, Thomas Even is the leading tackler with 45 solos and 30 assists. Dylan Rottinghaus has 12 solo tackles for loss and six sacks, and Svboda has 15 solo TFLs and 13 solo sacks. The Dons also have 22 total takeaways.