Pigskin preview: Woodward-Granger (5-2, 4-1) at No. 5 Pleasantville (6-1, 4-1)

W-G's Austin Scharlau (on ground) and Gabe Yingst stop Mount Ayr's Hunter Arends short of a first down. Matt Buch (32), Brendan Bird (14) and Cole Carmen (21) are also in on the play for the Hawks. W-G will have to stuff the best offense they have seen this season when the Hawks visit No. 5 Pleasantville Friday.

LAST MEETING — Two interceptions returned for touchdowns and 254 yards rushing was more than enough to lead Pleasantville to a 46-14 victory last season. Gauge Van Haalen caught three touchdown passes totaling 153 yards to spark the Trojans. W-G ran for 136 yards and passed for only 57, with turnovers repeatedly stalling the offense.

ABOUT THE HAWKS — W-G has outscored their five district foes 175-47, but has yet to face Pleasantville or No. 2 Pella Christian.

A multi-back rushing attack has generated 1,746 ground yards and 21 TDs on 305 carries. Payton Tague (131-741, 8 TDs) leads the charge, with Austin Scharlau (76-445, 4 TDs), Josh Saak (37-209, 4 TDs) and quarterback Brendan BIrd (25-204, 3 TDs) the other key parts.

Bird is 20-49-4 for 367 yards while missing two games. He has thrown two TDs.

J.P. Nixon (12-175, 1 TD) and Saak (7-133, 3 TDs) are the main targets, as no other Hawk has more than three catches.

The defense has fallen on eight fumbles and intercepted four passes. Scharlau (53.5), Cole Carmen (41.5), Gabe Yingst (39.5) and Bryce Achenbach (38.5) are the leading tacklers.

Tague has returned two interceptions for touchdowns and last week returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a score.

ABOUT THE TROJANS — Pleasantville had been outscoring district opponents 171-34 until suffering a 31-14 loss to second-ranked Pella Christian last week, leaving the Trojans, no doubt, in a foul mood.

Owen Worthington has hit 57-of-98 passes for 759 yards and nine TDs while being intercepted three times. Sack yardage is deducted from rushing yards, leaving Worthington with just 21 yards on 19 carries, indicating he should be little threat to tuck the ball and run.

Hunter Tyree (13-204, 2 TDs), Van Haalen (17-174, 2 TDs), Colton Major (6-121, 2 TDs) and Grant Fouch (7-117, 1 TD) have done the most damage in the passing game.

Tyree is elusive and very speedy, having gained 1,027 yards and scored 12 times on 117 carries. Cael Lester has 290 yards and four scores on 70 carries.

The defense has made eight interceptions and recovered 11 fumbles. Tyree has two punt returns — one for 97 yards — for scores.

OUTLOOK — The Trojans will be the best team the Hawks have seen this season, but an upset is not as far-fetched as some might expect. W-G must not turn the ball over and will need the ground game to work well enough that Bird has a chance or two to catch the host defense napping.

P’ville will spread the ball around, trying to find receivers in open space on quick-hitters. Open-field tackling will be critical if the Hawks are to stop a potent offensive attack.


District Overall Point
Win Loss Tie Win Loss Tie
Pella Christian 5 0 0 7 0 0 17.00
Woodward-Granger 4 1 0 5 2 0 10.80
Pleasantville 4 1 0 6 1 0 9.40
Interstate 35 3 2 0 5 2 0 2.60
Central Decatur 3 2 0 5 2 0 1.60
Mount Ayr 1 4 0 2 5 0 -8.40
Woodward Academy 0 5 0 0 7 0 -16.00
Des Moines Christian 0 5 0 0 7 0 -17.00


Friday’s Games
Woodward-Granger at No. 5 Pleasantville
Central Decatur at No. 2 Pella Christian 
Des Moines Christian at Mount Ayr 
Interstate 35 at Woodward Academy

Oct. 20 Games
(End regular season)
No. 2 Pella Christian at Woodward-Granger
Mount Ayr at Interstate 35
Pleasantville at Central Decatur 
Woodward Academy at Des Moines Christian


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