No. 9 Sioux City East at No. 1 Ankeny
Records: SC East 8-2, Ankeny 10-0
Last round: East edged Ames 39-38; Ankeny beat Indianola 51-7
The word: Sioux City East narrowly survived its first playoff shootout. Now, it prepares for another against the state's top-ranked team. Ankeny, led by Iowa State recruit Joel Lanning at quarterback, has steamrolled its past six opponents after consecutive seven-point wins against West Des Moines Dowling and Southeast Polk. The Black Raiders have enough offense to hang with the Hawks, provided they stay away from the turnovers they had in their Week 9 loss to West Des Moines Valley. East's Taylor DeLaughter is third in 4-A in passing yards, and Dom Thompson-Williams leads the entire state in receiving yards with 1,234.
Carroll at No. 5 CB Lewis Central
Records: Carroll 4-6, LC 8-2
Last round: Carroll beat Harlan 28-7; L.C. beat Le Mars 21-14
The word: The Tigers handed Harlan its first first-round loss Wednesday to set up an unlikely second-round showdown in Council Bluffs. Lewis Central survived consecutive road trips to Creston/Orient-Macksburg and Le Mars to play for a spot in the 3-A quarterfinals. Luke Harrison had a big game for the Titans in the playoff opener, catching a pair of touchdown passes from Austin Simmons before making a game-saving interception in the end zone on the final play. Carroll has a 1,000-yard rusher in Nate Johnston and a 1,000-yard passer in Jarret White.
Spencer at No. 5 Sioux City Heelan
Records: Spencer 7-3, Heelan 9-1
Last round: Spencer beat ADM 48-19; Heelan beat Creston/O-M 47-20
The word: Spencer's reward for its resounding win against ADM on Wednesday? It must try to beat Heelan for the second time in 11 days. The Tigers handed the Crusaders their first loss (21-14) in the regular-season finale. The good news is that Spencer is still playing outstanding football; it rushed for 440 yards in its first-round win. Heelan, meanwhile, passed a stern first test against Creston, breaking away late in the fourth. Quarterback Trent Solsma continues to play at an extremely high level. He threw for 298 yards and three scores with no interceptions in less-than-ideal conditions in the first round.
North Polk at No. 4 Carroll Kuemper
Records: North Polk 7-3, Carroll Kuemper 10-0
Last round: North Polk beat Greene County 44-7; Carroll Kuemper beat Gilbert 42-6
The word: A pair of talented junior quarterbacks will go a long way in deciding this one. Carroll Kuemper's Cole Neary (1,769 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, three interceptions) goes up against North Polk's Cole Jackson (1,634, 19, four) in a battle of two of 2-A's more successful passers. But the Knights' defense has been better of late. It hasn't allowed more than 14 points since its season opener, and its closest margin of victory since then is 34 points. Kuemper cruised past Gilbert last Wednesday, with Neary accounting for three aerial scores and two more on the ground. North Polk, which reached the state title game in 2010, has lost once since starting the fall 0-2. Monday's winner will likely earn a date at No. 3 West Marshall (10-0) in the quarterfinals.
Van Meter at No. 8 CB St. Albert
Records: Van Meter 8-2, St. Albert 9-1
Last round: Van Meter beat Panorama 28-0; St. Albert beat Pella Christian 42-7
The word: St. Albert's run of postseason success is remarkable. The Falcons seek their 15th straight quarterfinal appearance and have ridden an extremely fast and balanced defense to this point. Van Meter's previous 10 playoff appearances have come in Class A. The Bulldogs are led by 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior quarterback Brandon Brittain, who has passed for 1,478 yards and 12 TDs and rushed for a team-high 806 and 10 scores. His top target is senior Tyger Bottenfield, who has 710 receiving yards with an impressive 23.7 yards per catch and six scores. Van Meter forced five turnovers and allowed 158 total yards in its first-round win.
South O'Brien at No. 4 IKM-Manning
Records: South O'Brien 8-2, IKM-Manning 10-0
Last round: South O'Brien beat Manson-Northwest Webster 34-12; IKM-Manning beat H-M-S 18-7
The word: Defense is the name of the game for IKM-Manning, which hasn't given up more than 13 points in its last six games. The Wolves, led by a balanced running attack, aren't a high-scoring team (averaging 27.8 points per game), but they grind it out. They have four players with 400 or more rushing yards, and Dillon Muhlbauer had two touchdown catches in the win over H-M-S. South O'Brien's offense features running back Zach Nieman, who has rushed for 1,358 yards and 17 touchdowns on 200 carries this season.
A-H-S-T at No. 6 Logan-Magnolia
Records: A-H-S-T 7-3, Logan-Magnolia 9-1
Last round: A-H-S-T beat Madrid 25-8; Logan-Magnolia beat Audubon 41-13
The word: Logan-Magnolia certainly wouldn't mind a repeat of Oct. 12. The Panthers rolled A-H-S-T 49-3 that night, outgaining the Vikings on the ground 384-143 while attempting just three passes. Lo-Ma also ruled the rest of District 8, outscoring foes a combined 320-23. Senior running back Paul Hutson extended the dominance into Wednesday's first round, running for 276 yards and four touchdowns against Audubon. But A-H-S-T has also found a groove, winning its other five most recent contests while allowing an average of about 11 points. Dual threat freshman quarterback Nathan Herbst ran for 143 yards and passed for a score in the Vikings' first-round comeback win over Madrid. No. 1 Woodward-Granger (10-0) likely awaits Monday's victor.
Griswold at No. 1 Woodward-Granger
Records: Griswold 7-3, Woodward-Granger 10-0
Last round: Griswold beat Woodward Academy 46-0; Woodward-Granger beat Underwood 38-7
The word: Griswold will face a much tougher test in the second round. The Tigers welcomed Woodward Academy to its first postseason appearance with a convincing shutout. Now, they face Class A's top-rated team coming off a fine defensive effort in an opening-round win over Underwood. Woodward running back Andrew McCune needs to be accounted for at all times by the Griswold defense. He piled up 256 yards and a touchdown in his team's opening-round victory.
Glidden-Ralston at No. 5 Sidney
Records: Glidden-Ralston 8-2, Sidney 10-0
Last round: Glidden-Ralston beat CAM 62-8; Sidney beat Woodbine 42-28
The word: Glidden-Ralston certainly dropped some jaws Wednesday with its dismantling of a talented CAM team. You can bet one name — Mitchell Lensch — has been squarely in the thoughts of the Cowboys since Thursday. The Wildcats' 6-2, 205-pounder carried 17 times for 222 yards and four TDs against CAM. For the season, he's rushed for 1,919 yards and 37 TDs with an eye-popping 11.4 per-carry average. Sidney counters with one of Eight-Man's top QBs in senior Noah McKeever, who has thrown for 1,249 yards and 19 scores with just two interceptions, and run for 586 yards and 17 TDs. The Cowboys are coming off their first playoff win in 29 years and need two more wins to earn their first trip to the UNI-Dome.
Coon Rapids-Bayard at No. 4 Exira-EHK
Records: Coon Rapids-Bayard 7-4, Exira-EHK 10-0
Last round: Coon Rapids-Bayard beat Fremont-Mills 45-34; Exira-EHK beat Lenox 56-20
The word: All went well for the Exira-EHK running game against Lenox. Drew Peppers, Nick Peppers and Trey Sander combined for 402 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. They're more than capable of turning in a similar performance Monday, but they'll be facing an inspired Coon Rapids-Bayard squad that scored an upset victory over defending Eight-Man champion Fremont-Mills. CR-B quarterback Keaton Schlatter threw for 384 yards and six touchdowns in that game, and odds are his arm will be heavily relied upon again.
— Kevin White, Tony Boone, Evan Bland and Pat Donohue