Here’s what we know after the opening round of the playoffs, commonly known as substates:
The Mississippi Valley Conference is far superior to the Mississippi Athletic Conference, and the gap is much larger than previously figured. MVC also-rans Dubuque Wahlert and Dubuque Hempstead knocked off MAC contenders North Scott and Burlington. The final tally from Wednesday’s head-to-head games: MVC 5, MAC 0. The eight remaining 4A east-siders consist of seven MVC schools and Bettendorf.
The 4A west side consists of the CIML and nothing else. The Sioux City and Council Bluffs schools are done.
They can play football in the northeast corner of the state, specifically 3A football. West Delaware put the hammer to Marion, 35-2. New Hampton knocked off highly-ranked DeWitt Central. That district won all four of its substate games. Marion once again reached the postseason dance, but forgot to show up.
Solon is two, maybe three, touchdowns better than anybody else in Class 2A.
Mid-Prairie is better than anybody thinks.
Belle Plaine is extremely physical. Shane Rieck missed the first five games of the season to academic ineligibility, but was a terror to North Linn’s attack. The middle linebacker collected four sacks and 18 total tackles.
Eight-man defenses gain on eight-man offenses later in the season. Central City beat Northeast Hamilton, 70-55, in Week Zero, then edged the Trojans, 13-12, in Week 10. Now, that’s football.
Long miles don’t necessarily translate into automatic defeat. Ventura travelled 225 miles, knocked off Preston, 15-8, then journey home. The trip home probably seemed a lot shorter than the trip out.
The meeting between Aplington-Parkersburg and Emmetsburg will occur far too early than it should. If #2 E’burg and #1 A-P take care of business Monday, they’ll meet a week from Friday. In the 1A quarterfinals.
Same goes for Sioux City Heelan and Harlan in 3A.
Best game Monday: Iowa City Regina at Mid-Prairie, Class 2A. I’m there.
Don’t trust my predictions. I was 32-16 in the first round. Lousy.