Linn-Mar at City High
Where: Bates Field, 7:15 p.m.
Last Season: City High 26, Linn-Mar 16 (1st Round 4A playoffs)
Player to Watch: Linn-Mar senior quarterback Reese Phillips (6-0, 175) passed for 1,587 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
Key Stat: City High averaged 150 rushing yards per game in its eight wins last season and 39 yards per game on the ground in its four losses.
About Linn-Mar: The Lions finished 4-6 last season and bring back nine starters on each side of the ball from that team. Phillips returns at quarterback and has two of his favorite receivers back in Josh Gassman and Kirby Kerr who combined for 40 receptions and 669 yards.
About City High: The Little Hawks rebounded from an 0-2 start last year by winning eight of their final 10 games to reach the 4A quarterfinals. City High will get a boost from the return of quarterback Nate Wieland (6-2, 215) who was limited to one full game by injuries.
Southeast Polk at West High
Where: Trojan Field, 7:15 p.m.
Last Season: Did not play.
Player to Watch: West High senior receiver Oliver Martin (6-1, 190) shot up the national recruiting rankings this summer while picking up scholarship offers from college football heavyweights.
Key Stat: West High and Southeast Polk combined for 12 losses last season and the record of the teams accounting for those 12 losses was 123-26.
About Southeast Polk: The Rams won five straight after an 0-3 start last season and advanced to the second round of the 4A playoffs before falling to state champion West Des Moines Dowling. Senior receiver Jackson Cole led Southeast Polk with 30 catches for 520 yards and four touchdowns and scored twice on kick returns.
About West High: West High bounced back from an 0-4 start to reach the second round of the 4A playoffs but finished a disappointing 4-7 last season. Martin and Devontae Lane give the Trojans a dangerous receiving combination and senior lineman Alex Kleinow returns after missing most of last season with injuries.
Mount Vernon at Solon
Where: Spartan Field, 7:30 p.m.
Last Season: Solon 35, Mount Vernon 14
Player to Watch: Mount Vernon senior lineman Tristan Wirfs (6-5, 290) is an Iowa commit and a force on both sides of the ball.
Key Stat: Solon has won 14 straight meetings over its Highway 1 rival.
About Solon: The Spartans lost more than three games for the first time in a decade when it went 6-5 last year. Solon returns quarterback Blayze Griffis, three of its top four running backs, four offensive linemen, its top tackler and Iowa recruit Jacob Coons (6-4, 220).
About Mount Vernon: The defending 2A runners-up bring return the top passer in 2A in junior Drew Adams, a 1,000-yard rusher in Jack Cochrane and three linemen from an offense that put up 56 points in the state title game. Adams passed for 3,391 yards and 38 touchdowns last season while Cochrane ran for 1,056 yards and 21 scores.
Regina at Cedar Rapids Xavier
Where: Saints Field, 7 p.m.
Last Season: Xavier 38, Regina 35
Player to Watch: Regina senior lineman Jared Brinkman (6-1, 275) made 72.5 tackles last season and is capable of controlling the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball.
Key Stat: Xavier outscored Regina 31-0 in the second half in a 38-35 win last year.
About Regina: The Regals ran their state title streak to six in a row last season and have won 82 of 84 games during that stretch. The only two losses for Regina over the past six seasons have come to their first two opponents this season, Xavier and Solon.
About Cedar Rapids Xavier: The Saints won nine straight to open the season before falling to Decorah in the second round of the 3A playoffs. Seniors Bryce Schulte and Maliki Wilson are back to lead the Xavier offense. Schulte passes for 1,516 yards and 20 touchdowns last season while Wilson ran for 1,273 yards and 12 scores.
West Branch at West Liberty
Where: Memorial Field, 7:30 p.m.
Last Season: West Branch 41, West Liberty 13
Player to Watch: West Branch senior running back Luke Lenoch (5-8, 175) needs 237 yards to become the career rushing leader at West Branch.
Key Stat: West Branch ranked second in Class 1A last season averaging 41.3 points per game.
About West Branch: The Bears rattled off 11 straight wins last season before falling to state champion Regina in the 1A quarterfinals. West Branch rolled up 438 yards of total offense in last year’s win over West Liberty.
About West Liberty: The Comets snapped a 17-game losing skid that dated back to 2013 with a 14-7 week six win over Louisa-Muscatine last season. West Liberty brings back eight starters on offense including its top rusher and receiver.
Clear Creek Amana at Mount Pleasant
Where: Mount Pleasant, 7:15 p.m.
Last Season: Clear Creek Amana 20, Mount Pleasant 6
Player to Watch: Clear Creek Amana senior running back Drake Brezina (6-2, 185) rushed for 1,010 yards while averaging 7.7 yards per carry last season.
Key Stat: Clear Creek Amana rushed for 336 yards against Mount Pleasant last season.
About Clear Creek Amana: The Clippers lost three straight to open the season but won five of their final six regular season games to advance to the 3A playoffs for the second straight season. Four starters return from an offensive line that helped Clear Creek Amana average 252 rushing yards per game last season.
About Mount Pleasant: The Panthers finished 1-8 a year ago, defeating Fort Madison 14-13 in their season finale. Mount Pleasant returns its top rusher Pat Canby (675 yards) and top receiver DShundric Foster (430 yards).