Austin West runs against Cedar Rapids Washington in the 4A semifinals on Nov. 11. Jeff Yoder/For Your Prep Sports.West High (10-2) vs. No. 2 West Des Moines Dowling (11-1)
Where: UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls
When: Friday, 7:06 p.m.
Last Season: Did not play.
Last Round: West High 35, Cedar Rapids Washington 7; Dowling 42, Ankeny Centennial 17
Player to Watch: West Des Moines Dowling senior running back Jacob Zachary (6-1, 220) has rushed for 1,271 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
Key Stat: West Des Moines Dowling has scored at least 41 points in each of the last three Class 4A title games winning three consecutive titles by a combined score of 134-47.
About West Des Moines Dowling: The Maroons became the first 4A program to win three consecutive titles a year ago and will play for a fourth straight title after cruising past third-ranked Ankeny Centennial 41-17 in the semifinals.
Dowling is 51-2 over the past four seasons with both losses coming to rival West Des Moines Valley, including a 16-9 loss to the Tigers in week three of this season. Since the loss to Valley the Maroons have won nine straight games while averaging 48.9 points per game.
The Maroons were the only team in Class 4A with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers this season in seniors Jacob Zachary and Cole Deskin but Deskin was lost for the season with an injury in the quarterfinals. Zachary carried the load in the semifinals, rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
Dowling has been among the best defensive teams in the state during its three-year reign atop Class 4A and this season has been no different. The Maroons are holding opponents to 10.7 points per game and haven’t allowed more than 17 points in a game this season.
About West High: The Trojans are making their first state title game appearance since winning the second of back-to-back titles in 1999 following an impressive 35-7 win over fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington in the semifinals. West High has now defeated the fourth, fifth and sixth ranked teams in consecutive weeks in the playoffs to stretch its winning streak to seven.
West High is averaging 32.3 points and 393 total yards per game in its three playoff wins and has scored at least 24 points in every game during its current winning streak.
Junior quarterback Evan Flitz has been a big part of the West High offensive success, averaging 268 passing yards per game in three playoff wins. Flitz has thrown for 2,051 yards and 22 touchdowns despite missing two games with an injury and is completing 70 percent of his passes on the season.
Senior wide receiver Oliver Martin will end his prep career as one of the top pass catchers in state history and has put together his best season this year. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Martin leads Class 4A in receptions (83), receiving yards (1,245) and receiving touchdowns (14).
Regina lines up against Pella Christian in a 1A quarterfinal game on Nov. 4. Jeff Yoder/For Your Prep Sports. No. 1 Regina (11-1) vs. No. 5 Western Christian (11-1)
Where: UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls
When: Friday, 11:06 a.m.
Last Season: Regina 35, Western Christian 28 (1A title game)
Last Round: Regina 42, Denver 6; Western Christian 35, Van Meter 14
Player to Watch: Western Christian senior quarterback Tyson Kooima (6-0, 180) has passed for 2,296 yards and 36 touchdowns this season and has run for 601 yards and six scores.
Key Stat: Regina is 13-0 at the UNI-Dome over the last seven seasons winning those games by an average of 21 points.
About Regina: The Regals returned to the state title game for the seventh straight season with a 42-6 win over third-ranked Denver in the semifinals. The win was the 33rd consecutive playoff victory and 13th straight win in the UNI-Dome for Regina which is seeking a seventh consecutive state title.
After winning Class 2A titles in 2010 and 2011 the Regals have won four consecutive 1A titles while scoring at least 35 points in each 1A championship game. Regina is 93-3 over the past seven seasons with all three losses coming to Class 3A competition.
This season Regina has won 11 in a row since a season-opening loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier and has scored at least 40 points in seven straight games. Regina is averaging 45.3 points and 484 total yards in three playoff wins this season.
Junior tailback Isaac Vollstedt has rushed for at least 100 yards in all three playoff games, running for 423 yards and six touchdowns in the postseason. Vollstedt had 109 yards on 11 carries in the semifinal win over Denver and needs 73 yards to reach 1,000 for the season despite missing more than four games with injuries.
Junior quarterback Michael Conlon is coming off a career-high 277-yard passing performance in the semifinals and has passed for 1,545 yards and 18 touchdowns this season with just four interceptions. Senior Jack Jensen leads Regina with 40 receptions for 745 yards and nine touchdowns.
About Western Christian: In its fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs, Western Christian is back into the state title game for the second straight season. It has been a familiar road to the title game for Western Christian which opened the postseason with back-to-back regular season rematches against West Lyon and Hinton. The Wolfpack then returned to the title game with a 35-14 win over fourth-ranked Van Meter, the same squad it defeated in the semifinals a year ago.
Western Christian now gets its shot a title game re-do after falling to Regina 35-28 in the 1A title game last year. The Wolfpack brings an 11-game winning streak into the title game after falling a 32-13 loss to 2A state title game qualifier Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley in the season opener.
Senior quarterback Tyson Kooima leads a Wolfpack offense that ranks among the best in Class 1A. Western Christian is the only team in 1A with a 2,000-yard passer, a 1,500-yard rusher and a receiver with 950 yards.
Kooima has passed for 2,296 yards and 36 touchdowns with his favorite target Ben Gesink catching 40 passes for 968 yards and 16 scores. Ben Granstra has rushed for 1,623 yards and 20 touchdowns for Western Christian which averages 401 yards and 39 points per game.