Final four, times six

Take a deep breath, prep football fans. The whirlwind has subsided.

I’m talking literally, about the pseudo-snow shower that took hold of most of the state Friday night. And I’m talking figuratively, about the glut of games in a short span of time.

The teams that advanced to the state quarterfinals, they played four games in a 14-day span. Week 9, substate, first round, quarterfinals. Find me a kid that’s not banged up, and you’re finding me a kid that doesn’t play much.

We’re down to the final four in each of the six classes. The chaff has been eliminated. It’s all wheat now, baby.

A few quick notes:

Scores were unusually high, considering the raw conditions. Solon hung 331 first-half yards on Mid-Prairie in a 52-27 triumph. Cedar Rapids Washington posted 447 yards IN THE AIR and boxed Bettendorf, 48-27. Madrid avenged an earlier defeat against Avoca AHST, 42-27. Curiously, the lower scoring games took place in eight-man.

The fairy-tale finish didn’t happen for Aplington-Parkersburg, a football giant turned sentimental favorite after the May tornado ravaged Parkersburg. Emmetsburg spoiled the story, 14-6, in what may have been the Class 1A championship game.

Other than A-P, all of my projected finalists are still alive.

Schizophrenic Cedar Rapids Xavier showed its bad side once again. The Saints were brilliant at times this season, ordinary at others. Friday, they were horrid.

Always trust your first instinct. I had believed Solon was the best team in 2A by a large margin, but after seeing Mid-Prairie whip Iowa City Regina, I felt the Golden Hawks could compete. Boy, was I wrong.

Solon is a first-class program with a second (or third)-rate press box. Solon officials had put a cap on radio stations (two) and radio announcers (three) before the game. Still, a third station managed its way into the tiny press box, with seven announcers total. Meanwhile, newspaper reporters were forced to stand behind the radio folks. Susan Harman of the Iowa City Press-Citizen was there. She handled it better than I did.


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