Win and they’re in.
Despite Grundy Center’s 35-8 win over Nashua-Plainfield last week, the Huskies football team controls its postseason future.
In the race for the last two of the four playoff spots in Class A District 4, N-P and BCLUW have identical records, 2-2 in district and 4-2 overall. N-P holds the tiebreaker because of its 20-6 win on Sept. 24.
N-P would clinch the No. 3 spot with wins over its last two opponents of the regular season, AGWSR and Hudson, who are both 2-3 in district. If either defeats the Huskies, they could leapfrog into the postseason, depending on what happens with BCLUW.
A Huskies win over AGWSR in Ackley on Friday would eliminate the Cougars, but alone would not clinch a playoff spot for N-P.
The Huskies could lose the last playoff spot to Hudson, which they host the following week. A fourth district win would clinch the third playoff spot for N-P, but if the Pirates get their third district win, the teams would be tied at 3-3. Hudson would need BCLUW to lose its final two games against Grundy Center and Wapsie Valley, No’s. 1 and 2 in the district, to clinch the third playoff spot. N-P would get the fourth.
However, if N-P, BCLUW and Hudson wind up tied at 3-3, a tiebreaker based on win-loss margins of district games will determine who qualifies for the postseason.
Wapsie Valley, which is 3-1 in district, could technically fall into the 3-3 tie, but would need to lose to BCLUW and winless North Tama.
Undefeated Grundy Center also closes out the regular season against the Comets and RedHawks.
The Spartans offense was sharp but not unstoppable on Friday in Nashua. The Huskies defense forced four punts and turned them over on downs early in the game.
Turnovers hurt the Huskies, however. The Spartans scored two touchdowns in the first quarter after interceptions set them up in N-P territory.
In total, Grundy Center snagged three interceptions.
Grundy Center outgained N-P 182-152 on the ground and 117-71 yards in the air.
Spartans running back Justin Knaack did the most damage against the Huskies defense, rushing for 145 yards and four touchdowns. His longest was a 72-yard scoring sprint.
Grundy Center quarterback Colin Gordon completed 9 of 13 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown.
N-P quarterback Bo Harrington completed three passes for 71 yards, including a 45-yard diving catch by Kaden Wilken in the fourth quarter during the lone Huskies scoring drive.
Trae Geise had a 20-yard catch and Titus Evans had one of 6 yards.
Evans led the Huskies with 96 yards on 20 carries. He ran 10 yards for a touchdown and followed that up with a 2-point conversion run late in the fourth.
Defensively, Jackson Carey led N-P with 8 tackles. Eli Kalainoff and Aiden Lamborn each had a sack.
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