The Primer: Area Teams Ready for First Round Football

Written by Nathan Bloechl on October 15, 2020

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com 

(Photo Courtesy: Burlington Hawk Eye Sports)

Benton Community (3-4) at Mount Pleasant (3-3) 

Benton and Mount Pleasant meet with a trip to North Scott on the line tomorrow night at Mapleleaf Athletic Complex. It’s been an up-and-down season for both programs but it’s Mount Pleasant who ended their regular season on a high-note with a 42-16 drubbing of Burlington. The Panthers will be at full-strength entering Friday’s game which includes senior quarterback Jack Johnson who finished 11th in Class 3A in All-Purpose Yards despite missing the Fort Madison game.

Benton is coming off back-to-back eight win seasons but have been inconsistent behind junior quarterback Colin Buch, who has been intercepted nine times this year. Junior running back Lawrence Wallace has been the unquestioned bellcow of the backfield for the Bobcats, racking up a team-high 444 yards on the ground.

BCMoore Prediction: Mount Pleasant by 5.

WACO (2-4) at New London (5-1) 

Two Henry County rivals will meet for the second time this season in a first round matchup at New London High School.

New London has been playing inspired football since their 56-20 loss to No. 4 Montezuma, averaging 51.3 points per game during a three-game winning streak. The Tigers are led by sophomore athlete Blaise Porter who has accounted for a team-high 21 touchdowns (5 passing, 16 rushing) and over 1,000 total yards. In their first matchup Porter scored twice in a 50-10 New London win.

WACO is stumbling into the playoffs, falling twice to end their year to Montezuma and Winfield-Mount Union. With that being said, the Warriors still provide a potent offensive attack that is spearheaded by senior quarterback Will Edeker. Edeker has found paydirt a team-high 14 times this year (5 passing, 9 rushing) and will undoubtedly need to have his best game of the year for WACO to win. Edeker and backfield mate Jonah Clark have helped WACO’s ground game average nearly five yards a carry.

BCMoore Prediction: New London by 35.

Lone Tree (3-4) at Winfield-Mount Union (4-3)

Winfield is in the midst of their best season since 2015 when the Wolves went 10-1. This year, it’s been a ground-and-pound attack for Scott McCarty’s group with freshman Cam Buffington leading the way with 844 yards and 14 touchdowns. His development has been a driving factor in Winfield’s resurgence this season. Quarterback — and fellow freshman — Abram Edwards has also added a dynamic aspect to the Wolves backfield, toting the rock 48 times for 205 yards and a score.

Tomorrow they get a Lone Tree team that has dominated the matchup historically. The Lions have won nine out of the last ten games with Winfield’s last win coming in the 2015 season.

Lone Tree quarterback Cade Shield has accounted for 15 total scores (8 passing, 7 rushing) but has been intercepted eight times, as well.

The Lions leading rusher is senior Alex Viner, who’s averaging north of nine yards per carry. He’s also scored 13 times this year.

BCMoore Prediction: Lone Tree by 8.

Van Buren (1-5) at Mediapolis (5-2)

After starting with a a loss to Class 2A program West Liberty, Mediapolis reeled off five impressive wins before falling to district champion Sigourney-Keota in week six.

They closed their season strong with a 60-8 thrashing of Louisa-Muscatine and are once again in a prime spot under Brian Borrison. Senior gunslinger Regan Thornburg has thrown the football well for the Bulldogs this season, tossing 12 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He’s also got it done on the ground with four scores on over six yards per carry.

The emergence of sophomore tailback Anthony Isley has been huge for Mediapolis. Isley has ran for seven scores on the ground, tops on the team — averaging 7.3 yards per touch.

In the only matchup of the year, Mediapolis picked up a 41-6 win over the Warriors —  a game in which the Bulldogs rushed for 292 yards on the ground.

BCMoore Prediction: Mediapolis by 50.