Highland at Columbus
Basics: Approx. 7 p.m., Columbus Junction
Last year: Highland 8-3, 2-2 Class A, District 6; Columbus 0-9, 0-5 Class 1A District 5
Last meeting: Highland 48, Columbus 16 (2018)
Overview: The 16-point effort by Columbus against Highland last season marks the third-highest scoring game of the 2018 season for the Wildcats. But with new head coach Tyler Kibbee taking the helm, Columbus looks to start a new chapter in its football program's history. The Wildcats are one of the few teams in the state to have already played a game (one they lost 38-0), but Columbus is hopeful to get in the win column this season. Improving on last season's effort against Highland would be a step in the right direction.
Durant at Wilton
Basics: Approx. 7 p.m., Wilton
Last year: Durant 7-3, 5-0 Class A, District 6; Wilton 8-2, 5-0 Class 1A, District 5
Last meeting: Wilton 27, Durant 13 (2018)
Overview: This game is a good measuring stick for both programs as to where they are as opposed to a year ago. Both teams come into the game with new quarterbacks, established head coaches and are coming off playoff appearances last season. Though there aren’t necessarily make-or-break games this early in the season, it’s safe to say neither team wants to come out of this rivalry game feeling like they’ve taken too big a step back.
Louisa-Muscatine at Wapello
Basics: Approx. 7 p.m., Wapello
Last season: Louisa-Muscatine 3-6, 1-4 Class 2A, District 5; Wapello 5-4, 2-1 Class 1A, District 5
Last meeting: Wapello 34, Louisa-Muscatine 28 (2OT) (2018)
Overview: In terms of team construction, these two teams are polar opposites. Louisa-Muscatine is heavily dependent on key pieces that return from last year; Wapello is working with only six seniors on their roster. However, there is a good amount of returning firepower for the Indians. Ricky Pforts is back for Wapello, the running back had 114 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against L-M in last season's meeting. L-M quarterback Chase Kruse returns for his senior season, and he rushed for 101 yards against Wapello last year.
West Branch at West Liberty
Basics: Approx. 7 p.m., West Liberty
Last season: West Branch 9-2, 4-1 Class 1A, District 4; West Liberty 8-4, 5-0 Class 2A, District 5
Last meeting: West Branch 32, West Liberty 6 (2018)
Overview: Despite only finishing with one more win on the season, West Branch opened last season with a rout of West Liberty. The Comets come into this season looking to avenge that loss and put the Bears in a situation where they are the team starting the season 0-1 this time around. To do so, the Comets will likely have to produce much more offensively. In 2018, then-seniors Seth Feldman, A.J. Lenz and Gabriel Melendez combined for 24 carries for negative 12 yards. The Comets didn't fair much better through the air, accumulating 96 yards on 22 pass attempts.