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Thursday, October 30, 2014
WEDNESDAYS SCOREBOARD - PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - Pleasant Valley 31, Prairie 24 (OT) .... Linn-Mar 34, Davenport Central 14 .... Kennedy 20, Muscatine 17 .... Xavier 35, Charles City 6 .... Bettendorf 35, Jefferson 7 .... CR Washington 78, Clinton 13 .... COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL - Iowa Central 3, Kirkwood 2
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

No.6 Lions shrug off Davenport Central

It wasn't exactly a playoff atmosphere Wednesday night at Linn-Mar Stadium as the Lions played host to Davenport Central in a Class 4A first-round contest.

That had Linn-Mar Coach Bob Forsyth concerned.

"It's just a different environment when you come out here for that first Wednesday night playoff game," he said. "The band's not here. The crowd's not where you want, but I thought our kids did a good job of working around that."

The Lions shrugged things off and defeated Davenport Central, 34-14.

Linn-Mar took control with a 24-point second quarter, relying again on big plays from quarterback Ryan Schmidt and Trevor Noble to get in scoring position. Neither of the dynamic seniors were able to get into the end zone, but a couple big runs from Schmidt and three more long passes to Noble set the table for others.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 22:50

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Lions are 'most improved' team in 4A

Linn-Mar football coach Bob Forsyth said in August that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the 2014 season and hopeful for a good year.

He may have underplayed his hand a bit.

Quite simply, Linn-Mar is the most improved team in Class 4A this year with a good chance of making a deep run in the playoffs.

The Lions finished with a 2-7 record in 2013 and improved to an 8-1 mark for the regular season this year. That's a gain of six victories and that plus-6 mark is the best among all 46 Class 4A teams in Iowa.

Lewis Central is next on the "most improved" list at plus-4, going from four victories in 2013 to eight wins in 2014.

Two Metro teams tied for third place in the "most improved" category at plus-3. The Washington Warriors jumped from 6-3 to 9-0 and the Jefferson J-Hawks climbed from 1-8 to 4-5.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 19:35

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No. 6 Lions roll; Jeff makes playoffs

Good football teams get big plays when they need them from their key players.

Linn-Mar is a good football team and its key players on offense have been Trevor Noble and Ryan Schmidt. The senior tandem came to the front when the Lions needed them most in Friday's regular-season finale against Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

Schmidt and Noble hooked up for four touchdown passes as the Lions rallied from a 14-7 deficit to win going away, 42-21, on a foggy Friday night at Linn-Mar Stadium.

The Lions (8-1, 5-0) had already locked up the Class 4A District 5 title after Week 8. Coach Bob Forsyth's team will host a No. 4 seed Davenport Central in a first-round playoff game on Wednesday night.

Jefferson (4-5, 2-3) got into the playoffs as a No. 4 seed. The J-Hawks will be on the road against a No. 1 seed and unbeaten Bettendorf on Wednesday night.

Noble, who caught three TD passes and returned an interception for a score in last week's win at Waterloo West, said the Lions weren't overlooking the J-Hawks.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 05:37

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VanDraska, Lions win titles in Marshalltown

MARSHALLTOWN - The Linn-Mar Lions and Prairie Hawks have battled all season to see who has the best boys cross country team in Eastern Iowa.

They'll settle things at the Class 4A state meet in Fort Dodge Nov. 1.

Linn-Mar captured top honors Thursday with an impressive performance at the district meet in Marshalltown, but Prairie placed second and also earned a trip to state.

It was the fifth time the two powers have clashed in a meet this year. Linn-Mar leads the series, 3-2, but it's not over yet.

Prairie is the defending state champion and boasts Tysen VanDraska, who won the individual title Thursday at Marshalltown Community College.

"They're a great team and they're always pushing us," said VanDraska. "I don't want to say we're rivals. We're buds with them. We like the right kind of competition."

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 21:54

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3 Metro teams seek playoff berths

It will be interesting to see how many high school football teams with 2-and-7 records make the Class 4A playoffs this year.

The Kennedy Cougars will make the 32-team field with a 2-7 mark if they defeat Waterloo West at Kingston Stadium Friday night, but they're not the only ones who could advance with a 2-7 record.

Iowa City High, Clinton and Mason City also could "earn" spots in the Class 4A tournament with 2-7 marks. That would be an improvement for Mason City, which qualified a few years ago with a 1-8 record.

We can thank - or blame - the district format for all this. The only results that count are district games. The non-district games are simply exhibitions, as far as making the playoffs, so it's a lot easier to make the playoffs now.

You can lose all of your non-district games, finish fourth in your district with a wobbly record and march into the playoffs at 2-7 (and sometimes even 1-8).

Under the old conference format, it normally took at least four victories to make the playoffs, although occasionally a team would slip through with a 3-6 mark. The schools voted for this system, so now everyone has to live with it.

Washington, Linn-Mar and Xavier have clinched playoff berths. The top-ranked Warriors are 8-0 and rolling along. The sixth-ranked Lions are 7-1, with the only loss to Washington. The Saints are 5-3, but have struggled on offense in their losses to Dowling (24-2), Western Dubuque (7-6) and Iowa City Regina (21-7) with only one touchdown on offense.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:58

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