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Week 4 Prep Football Preview

September 14, 2012
By TIMES-REPUBLICAN STAFF ( , Times-Republican

Marshalltown (2-2) at Ames (2-1)

The 98th installment of this Highway 30 rivalry heads to Ames as the Bobcats look to climb above .500 for the first time this season.

The host team has lost the last four games in the series.

Marshalltown brings in the top passing attack in the state as quarterback Blake Gimbel has amassed 1,588 yards with more than 1,000 of it going to Tad Steffensen (41 receptions for 576 yards) and De'Quan McDowell (39-493).

South Tama (3-0) at Newton (0-3)

The first South Tama football team to start the season with three wins since 2007 will visit Newton in a game between former Little Hawkeye Conference foes.

STC held off winless Dallas Center-Grimes last week thanks to 213 yards rushing and three TDs from Kyle Stephenson, Class 3A's second-leading rusher.

Newton's three previous opponents currently boast a combined record of 8-1. The Cardinals have committed nine turnovers and have scored just four touchdowns.

East Marshall (2-2) at Center Point-Urbana (3-0)

Two of Class 2A's top four rushers will face a 2A team for the first time tonight as East Marshall goes on the road take on No. 6-ranked Center Point-Urbana.

Mustang junior Zach Rubenbauer (732 yards) and senior Josh Wilson (572) rank second and fourth in 2A rushing, sparked by a combined 359 yards in last week's comeback win over BCLUW.

All Center Point-Urbana did to start the year was beat defending 3A champion La Porte City Union, 45-42. CPU edged Camanche last week as well, 21-20.

Nevada (2-2) at West Marshall (4-0)

Duncan Ferch is averaging nearly 232 yards per game as the top rusher in the state, leading 2A No. 4 West Marshall into its Homecoming game against neighboring Nevada.

Nevada's two losses have come against still-unbeatens South Tama and 10th-ranked Bondurant-Farrar. The Cubs have the third-best run game in 2A (behind West Marshall and East Marshall) led by the division's 10th-ranked runner in sophomore Chase Dobson (39-440).

Bishop Garrigan (1-2) at AGWSR (3-1)

Necessity demanded that AGWSR throw for a season-high 99 yards, but it was in last week's blowout loss to West Hancock. The Cougars suffered their first loss after being limited to a season-low 105 yards rushing.

The Bears of Bishop Garrigan have managed just 13.7 points per game thus far, led offensively by tailback Shawn Vaske's 274 yards and three scores.

BCLUW (1-2) at Gladbrook-Reinbeck (2-2)

Gladbrook-Reinbeck made a big debut against Class A competition this season last week when the Rebels racked up season-high offensive numbers and points in a 47-22 rout over previously unbeaten Iowa Valley on the Tigers' home turf.

Chase Clark had his second 200-plus rushing game of the season, and Joe Zimmerman had four receptions for 55 yards in his return to the lineup.

BCLUW led early but couldn't outlast 2A East Marshall's persistent ground game. The Comets have shown excellent balance on offense, gaining 364 yards passing and 406 rushing, but it has only amounted to one win so far.

GMG (1-3) at Grundy Center (0-3)

Visiting GMG boasts the third-best rushing attack in Class A despite the loss of the season's starting tailback to injury. Blake Warren has picked up the pieces and sprinted away with them, racking up most of his 373 yards (17th in Class A) since Lansana Mohr was lost for the year.

Grundy Center's stagnant offense has managed less than a touchdown per game against a solid schedule thus far. The Spartans' opponents have a combined 9-2 record to this point, but they're hoping Homecoming brings out their best yet.

Iowa Valley (3-1) at North Tama (3-1)

Two of Class A's premier passing attacks clash tonight in Traer as No. 8-ranked North Tama brings the division's best aerial attack against Iowa Valley.

The visiting Tigers are fourth in Class A in passing yards (622) despite suffering their first loss last week, yet the team also stands second behind only Madrid in rushing yards (939).

Jacob Wrage picked up where he left off two weeks ago and has North Tama back on track, having thrown for three touchdowns and run for another in a win over GMG.

Redhawk senior Nolan Hefty leads the entire state in tackles, too, with 78 stops (20 solo).

Meskwaki Settlement (0-3) at Twin Cedars (1-3)

Twin Cedars quarterback Brent Parker leads 8-man football with 739 yards passing to go with 10 touchdowns, but it's only amassed to one win in four games for the boys from Bussey.

The Meskwaki Warriors have struggled to find a running game and rank last in the state, according to, among teams to have reported all stats. The result is a 15.3 point-per-game average and an 0-3 start.

Colo-NESCO (2-2) at East Union (1-3)

The Royals take the seventh-ranked rushing attack in 8-man football to Afton for a face-off with the seventh-ranked passing attack of the Eagles from East Union.

East Union is riding its passing attack, but the Eagles have had to throw to try and keep up with their opposition. They're surrendering 49 points per game.

Colo-NESCO has been limited through the air, so keeping the ball on the ground has turned into consecutive wins. Adam Lytle has more than 500 yards rushing and Brandyn Niemeyer is over 400, and both have seven touchdowns for the Royals.