Your Prep Sports
What Stood Out?
Liberty High Gets a Big One
There have been some big wins in the short history of the Liberty High football program.
The Lightning’s 24-16 win at sixth-ranked Fort Madison on Friday ranks as one of the biggest.
A road win over a top-10 previously unbeaten opponent is always big but Friday’s win is important on a number of levels.
First and foremost, the win moves Liberty High to 2-5 on the season and 2-1 in Class 4A district 3 play.
Second and perhaps more importantly it keeps Liberty High in the thick of the playoff race.
With two district games to play Liberty High sits in a tie with Burlington for the second automatic berth out of District 3 and hosts the Grayhounds next Friday.
Finally, this win shows exactly how far the Lightning have come this season under first-year head coach James Harris.
After a 0-5 start against an incredibly rugged schedule Liberty High has bounced back, especially on defense.
The Lightning followed up a shutout of Mount Pleasant last Friday by limiting a Fort Madison squad that entered averaging better than 40 points per game to a season-low 16 points and didn’t allow a point after halftime.
What Were We Watching?
Regina took firm control of the Class 1A, District 5 race with a win over West Branch and can clinch the title outright with a win over Durant next week.
West Branch dropped to 3-1 in district play and will host Wilton (5-2, 2-2) next week.
Solon moved to 3-0 in 3A, District 5 play and will travel to Grinnell (5-2, 3-0) next week to determine to the district champion.
Tenth-ranked Clear Creek Amana took its first loss in 4A, District 4 play on Friday falling to third-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier who now sits alone atop the district standings.
The Clippers drop into a second-place tie with Pella at 2-1 and host the Dutch on Friday.
Where Was the Focus?
Regina and West Branch
This rivalry rarely disappoints.
The two long-time rivals and perennial 1A powers slugged it out for 48 minutes on Friday ending in a 26-8 Regina win.
Regina (7-0) showed it is once again a state title contender while West Branch proved it can compete with the best in the state.
Both should be playoff teams and both will be tough outs in the postseason. As is often the case, these two rivals could see each other again this season.
Who Stepped up?
Regina junior Levi Daniel
The West Branch and Regina rivalry is always smashmouth, old school, physical football.
In other words, it’s perfect for Levi Daniel.
Daniel rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 54 yards and another score to help third-ranked Regina outlast West Branch 26-8.
Three games to keep an eye on next Friday
Burlington (5-2) at Liberty High (2-5) – Liberty High took a big step toward securing a playoff berth with a road win at sixth-ranked Fort Madison. The next step is knocking off Burlington at home.
Pella (3-4) at Clear Creek Amana (5-2) – The Clippers will need to bounce back quickly from Friday’s loss to third-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier with a big-time district matchup with perennial power Pella looming.
Wilton (5-2) at West Branch (5-2) – West Branch hosts Wilton in the regular season finale with the winner earning an automatic playoff berth out of Class 1A, District 5.