Rebels and Cougars learn state playoff fate

The reigning Class A state champions will stay at home, while an 8-Man newcomer sets out on the road.

The opening round of the Iowa state football playoffs were announced on a live webcast by the Iowa High School Sports Network on Saturday morning, starting with the smallest class and working the way up.

The AGWSR Cougars, in their first year as an 8-Man program, found themselves in a barnburner of a regional bracket that will take them on the road in the first round.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck, last year’s Class A state champ, will stay at home after winning District 5. The Rebels (9-0) entertain District 6 runner-up Lynnville-Sully (8-1) at 7 p.m. Friday night at ‘The Pit’ in Gladbrook.

This marks the seventh consecutive state playoff appearance for Gladbrook-Reinbeck, which has reached the last two title games.

On the other half of the regional bracket is District 6 champ Montezuma (7-2) hosting one of two at-large qualifiers in Class A – BGM (5-4).

A three-way tie atop Class A’s District 4 advanced East Buchanan, Wapsie Valley and Lisbon into the playoffs, leaving room for just one more at-large qualifier. BGM, on the strength of its average margin of victory in seven district games (7.86), edged out Grundy Center (7.29) and Southeast Valley (7.00) for the final spot in the 16-team playoff bracket.

In 8-Man, the top two teams in each of eight districts earned automatic berths into the postseason. AGWSR (7-2), as runner-up in District 2, will travel to face Central Community of Elkader (7-2) in Friday’s first round. It’s the Cougars’ fourth-straight state playoff berth.

Turkey Valley (9-0) hosts Don Bosco (8-1) on the other side of the bracket.