Three area football teams have high hopes for the playoffs heading into Friday’s games.
Benton Community (5-2, 4-1 in Class 3A District 3) can ensure itself a play-off spot with wins at Independence and Vinton-Shellsburg. The Bobcats, who end their season at V-S next Friday, have only one district loss, to undefeated Xavier.
Union (7-0, 5-0 in Class 2A District 4) travels to West Union for a match-up of the two top-ranked and undefeated teams in Class 2A. Both North Fayette and Union have won easily in all of their games. The Hawks have been ranked No. 1 all season; the Knights have moved up to No. 2.
Belle Plaine (6-1, 4-1 in Class A District 5) could earn a spot in the post-season with wins over undefeated Gladbrook-Reinbeck this week and Hudson next week.
Vinton-Shellsburg (2-5) travels to Cedar Rapids to play a new district rival, undefeated and top-ranked Xavier. Center Point-Urbana, also 2-5, travels to Central DeWitt.
Defense leads way for Union
After seven games, the Union Knights defense, led by senior and UNI recruit Brock Hadachek, has only allowed 29 total points, an average of 4.1 per game. The only other team in Iowa to allow that few points is undefeated Pella in Class 3A.
Against a Top 10 Waukon team last Friday (in a game played at the Upper Iowa University field in Fayette), the Knights built a 23-8 half-time lead and won by a final score of 37 to 16. Waukon had only lost once this season, a 21-20 non-district defeat to 6-1 New Hampton. The game represents the first of the season that Union did not win with the “Mercy Clock Rule.” The Knights had not won by fewer than 35 points all season.
Union Coach Joe Hadachek (the uncle of Brock) offered the following recap: