West Liberty (4-2) at Mount Vernon (7-1)
Last week: West Liberty won 35-16 against Maquoketa; Mount Vernon beat Vinton-Shellsburg 25-15
Outlook: After having to cancel its last two regular season games to quarantine, West Liberty didn't miss a beat in the first round, as the team gained 484 yards of total offense. Junior running back Jahsiah Galvan provided most of those, going for 343 rushing yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns. Mount Vernon, however, poses a tough matchup as the Mustangs as it has its own junior running back threat in Trenton Pitlik, who has 1,064 yards on the ground this season. And with senior Brady Ketchum at quarterback, Mount Vernon has also thrown for over 1,000 yards.
Durant (4-3) at Beckman Catholic (5-2)
Last week: Durant claimed a 55-21 victory over Louisa-Muscatine; Beckman Catholic beat Northeast 28-6.
Outlook: Beckman Catholic was a 24-17 winner in Week 5 against Durant. The Trailblazers had some relative success in stopping Wildcat sophomore running back Nolan DeLong, holding him to 163 yards rushing, which stands as his second-lowest output of the season. Getting DeLong going, or finding other sources of offense, may be key for Durant. Beckman has won five of six since losing Week 1 to Amanosa, 42-28, and boasts a balanced offense that has accumulated over 1,000 yards both on the ground and through the air this season.
Wapello (4-3) at Regina Catholic (6-1)
Last week: Wapello defeated Columbus 56-6; Regina was idle in Round 1
Outlook: The Indians will need a change of fortunes in order to advance against the Regals. When the two teams faced each other in Week 4, Regina came out on top 43-16. But Wapello's underclassmen have come on strong as the season has progressed, headlined by sophomore Jake Gustison, who has 631 yards rushing and 245 yards receiving. But the Indians will need to lean on their established veterans along the offensive line and on the outside in Round 2. Regina is riding a six-game win streak after dropping the opener to Pleasant Valley 45-13.
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