The first round of the high school playoffs favored area teams Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire and Spirit Lake in Class 8-Man and Class 2A, respectively, on Wednesday.
Class 8-Man preview
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire's upset over 10th-ranked River Valley gave 8-Man District 2 three teams in the second round of the playoffs.
District 2's top seeds won easily as No. 1 seed and third-ranked Newell-Fonda defeated Remsen-St. Mary's 55-8 and No. 2 seed West Bend-Mallard defeated Remsen-Union 52-14.
District 1 top seed and defending state 8-Man champs Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn won a 64-40 shootout over Northeast Hamilton.
GTRA (7-3) now takes on Newell-Fonda (10-0) Monday at Fonda. West Bend-Mallard (10-1) is on the road against Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn (9-1) on the other side of the bracket. The Wolverines defeated Eagles 28-18 in Week 3 of the regular season.
The winners will meet on Friday.
GT/RA will face a bigger challenge in trying to defeat Newell-Fonda. The Mustangs aren't as one-dimensional as River Valley was.
Newell-Fonda running back Brady Bohe has 1,618 yards and 29 touchdowns on 171 carries. Quarterback Gabe Podraza has rushed for over 600 yards and 14 touchdowns while throwing for over 600 yards with 14 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Two other backs have over 200 yards-Dillon Anders (299) and Cole Wise (253).
GTRA's defense did hold Newell-Fonda to a season-low 28 points in their meeting in Week 6 of the regular season. But the Titans will have to score more than six points.
Class 2A preview
Top seed and defending champion Spirit Lake was the only District 2 team to win a first-round game with their 55-0 win over MOC-Floyd Valley.
In other first-round games, District 1 teams prevailed-Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley defeated Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 34-13, Central Lyon-George-Little Rock defeated Southern Central Calhoun 12-7 and Sioux Center defeated Forest City 18-7.
The Indians (9-1) host BHRV (9-1) on Monday while CL/GLR (7-3) travels to Sioux Center (8-2). Spirit Lake's lone loss this season was to the Nighthawks-31-8 in Week 5-as the two teams meet for the fourth time in two years. BHRV also won in the regular season in 2012 with the Indians avenging the loss in the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see if history will repeat itself.
The Nighthawks' lone loss this season was 19-0 to District 1 champ Sioux Center in Week 3.
In Spirit Lake's loss to BHRV, the Indians' offense was limited to 260 yards total with the only score coming on a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Alec Henrickson. Nighthawks' quarterback Andrew Van Ginkel rushed for 14 yards including a 96-yard touchdown while also completing 12-of-18 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns in that win.
Spirit Lake's offense has worked on establishing the run over the past few weeks of the season. Combined with Henrickson's return after not playing in the final game of the regular season to rest an injury, the Indians may have the firepower to avenge the loss again.
The winner will play either Central Lyon/George-Little Rock or Sioux Center in Friday's 2A quarterfinal.