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Local Sports

Tigerhawks are in must-win mode

Colfax-Mingo is still in the playoff picture for Class 1A. But a loss in any of its final two games could close the door for good.

That puts the Tigerhawk football team in must-win mode.

“I think if we win both games we’ll get in,” Colfax-Mingo coach Jeff Lietz said. “I think our district will get three teams.”

Colfax-Mingo is in 1A District 7. Heading into Week 8, Pella Christian and Interstate 35 are both 3-0. Colfax-Mingo, Pleasantville and Woodward-Granger are all 1-2.

To stay alive for the postseason, the Tigerhawks needs to defeat 0-3 Woodward Academy on Friday night and then knock off Woodward-Granger on the final Friday of the regular season.

“This season is not over,” Lietz said. “We have a tough district. Anyone can win on any given night. If we can win out and get some help, we should be in.”

The Tigerhawks come into the week ranked 22nd in the latest 1A RPI standings. Woodward-Granger is sitting at 18th, while I-35 and Pella Christian are both in the top five.

The Roadrunners and Eagles are both in great shape even after the two teams face off to decide the district title. The third team Lietz speaks of would be either his Tigerhawks or the Hawks.

First thing’s first though. Claiming a win over Woodward Academy is a must.

Colfax-Mingo (4-3 overall, 1-2 in district play) comes into the game having lost three of its last four games. But all three losses came against likely playoff teams.

“It’s not like we are losing to bad teams,” Lietz said. “But if we don’t win this week, it will definitely hurt our playoff chances. We have to get back to doing things the way we know we can do them.”

Woodward Academy (2-5, 0-3) started 2-1 but comes into Friday night on a four-game losing streak. The Knights are averaging 22 points this season but only scoring 11 points per game in their last three contests.

They run a two-quarterback set and both guys have thrown the same number of passes. Senior Lashaud Dowell is 21-of-42 for 436 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Junior Kobe Cannon is 19-of-43 for 299 yards, four TDs and three picks.

“There is no rhyme or reason why they use each guy,” Lietz said. “They just use each guy, and they like to beat you deep. We need to force some turnovers.”

Senior Tiran Lynch has rushed for 409 yards and four TDs, and the top receiver is senior Maurice Myles. Myles has 17 catches for 316 yards and four TDs.

“They have some speed, and this one of the better teams they’ve had over there,” Lietz said. “They like to throw it around the field.”

Lietz said he wants his team to use the final two games to get their mojo back.

The Tigerhawks started 3-0 but are 1-3 since. They were outscored 136-23 in the three losses and are only averaging nine points per game in their last four games.

Junior Brady Berkey ranks eighth in 1A with 1,246 passing yards and eighth with 13 passing TDs. He’s also tied for second with five interceptions.

Senior Zarek Hill leads the skill position players with 32 catches for 488 yards and nine TDs, which ranks tied for third in 1A.

“We just need to get our energy back, and we have to play at a high level,” Lietz said. “We can’t make mistakes.”

Kickoff for the game is 7 p.m. on Friday in Colfax.

Baxter (1-6, 1-4) at Colo-NESCO (1-7, 1-4)

Both Baxter and Colo-NESCO football teams are looking for their second win of the season.

The Royals are averaging 18 points per game in their seven losses and are surrendering 49 points per contest.

One common opponent with different results this season is Collins-Maxwell. Baxter defeated the Spartans 42-22, while the Royals lost their game with Collins-Maxwell, 42-20.

The Bolts’ defense needs to worry about stopping the run as the Royals have rushed for 1,458 yards and thrown for only 265.

Senior Kelly Gray leads the Royals with 470 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He’s also got 130 yards receiving on five catches. Junior Francis Bower has rushed for 369 yards and three TDs and hauled in 11 catches. Bower also leads the defense with 61 1/2 tackles.

Sophomore Brandon Roberts has 50 1/2 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown. He’s the team’s quarterback, too, passing for 265 yards.

Baxter has the chance to end its season on a high note. The Bolts’ final two opponents — Colo-NESCO and Meskwaki Settlement School — have a combined one win.

Senior Brendyn Padget has passed for 684 yards and seven TDs since taking over for the injured Cole Damman. He’s also rushed for 243 yards.

Freshman Rory Heer leads the offense with 386 rushing yards, 327 receiving yards and 10 total TDs. He’s also got three interceptions on defense.

Defensively, seniors Will Clapper and Koby Barber lead the way. Clapper has 42 1/2 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks and two fumble recoveries. Barber has 41 tackles, eight tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery.

PCM (7-0, 3-0) at Clarke (3-4, 1-2)

The top-ranked team in Class 2A with the top RPI can win a third straight district title with a road win over Clarke on Friday night.

The Mustangs are scoring 45 points per game and allowing only seven points per contest. The starting defense is surrendering only four points per game. And the lowest number of points PCM has scored in a game this year was the 29 it scored in the win over fifth-ranked West Marshall.

Standing in the Mustangs’ way of another district championship is Clarke, which forfeited to PCM last year.

This season, the Indians have three wins. Those wins came against teams with a combined record of 0-21. The Indians are averaging 43 points per game in their wins and only 19 points in the losses.

PCM will have to stop the run to beat Clarke. The Indians have rushed for 2,089 yards and scored 27 rushing TDs.

Senior quarterback Riley Domina has thrown for 166 yards but leads the Indians with 671 rushing yards and 10 TDs. He also leads the defense with 52 1/2 tackles and two interceptions. Senior Payton Kinship has rushed for 300 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns.

It could be a big night for PCM senior Wes Cummings. He needs one rushing TD to set the career record at the school. He also can set a new career rushing yards record with a 123-yard effort against the Indians.

Cummings comes into the game with 3,155 career rushing yards. His 849 yards this season leads the team, and his 14 rushing TDs ranks fourth in 2A.

Senior quarterback Reed Worth has thrown for 1,142 yards, rushed for 678 yards and scored a combined 24 TDs.

The Mustangs have scored the second most points (314) and gained the second most yards (3,117) in 2A. Only third-ranked Algona has more points (323) and yards (3,403).

Nine players on defense have tallied more than one tackle for loss. The Mustangs have 11 fumble recoveries and nine interceptions. Senior Nick Dredge leads the team with three picks.

North Mahaska (1-6, 1-2) at Lynnville-Sully (5-2, 3-0)

The Hawks can clinch their second straight district title with a win over a North Mahaska team which has been shut out three times.

Lynnville-Sully started 1-2 but has won four straight games, including three inside district play. During the four-game win streak, the Hawks are outscoring their opponents 148-30.

Senior Gage Vander Leest is fifth in Class A with 1,050 rushing yards and ninth with 13 rushing TDs. The Hawks rushed for 433 yards in last week’s win over Grand View Christian.

The 1,942 rushing yards Lynnville-Sully has gained ranks seventh in Class A.

Senior Tyson Vander Linden ranks fourth in Class A with 31 catches and is 12th with 386 receiving yards. He’s also returned a punt for a TD and has three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.

Defensively, the Hawks have been led by Vander Leest (40 tackles) and senior Rylan James, who has 28 1/2 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and six sacks.

North Mahaska has scored 12 or fewer points in five of its six games. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Klinker leads the team with 471 passing yards, 298 rushing yards and five TDs. He has thrown 10 picks.

Sophomore Blake Readshaw has caught 16 passes for 338 yards and three TDs. Senior Luke Groves leads the defense with 53 1/2 tackles.

The Hawks’ final two opponents — North Mahaska and Martensdale-St. Marys — are a combined 1-13.

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