Denver at Belmond-Klemme – This is the game Belmond-Klemme has had circled on its schedule all season. The Broncos were in the thick of the playoff race all the way until the final week of the regular season last year, and expected to be even better this year. Standing in their way of a potential district title is perennial power Denver. Now they get their shot at the Cyclones, and the winner here gets a huge leg up in the race for the playoffs.

Grundy Center at West Hancock – The Eagles have rebounded nicely from a couple of early-season losses and the offense – and even the special teams – have been big reasons why. In its two wins, West Hancock (2-2, 2-0) is averaging 59 points per game and senior MaCoy Yeakel has accounted for six total touchdowns in those games. The task gets a lot tougher tonight with Grundy Center (3-1, 2-0) and its tough running game in town.

Algona at Spirit Lake – Class 3A, District 1 might be the most loaded district in the entire state. The district currently has two ranked teams – Sergeant-Bluff-Luton and Sioux City Heelan – and one just outside the rankings in Storm Lake. It also has six teams who are each 3-1 and six who are 1-1 in district play, including Algona and Spirit Lake. It feels weird to say that a Week 5 game is a must-win, but that’s the scenario for these teams and their playoff hopes.

Central Springs at Sumner-Fredericksburg – Central Springs and its rushing game (specifically, Zack Santee and his 909 rushing yards) have gotten off to one of its best starts in years, and it has the Panthers right in the thick of the playoff chase early in district play. A win tonight against Sumner-Fredericksburg would improve Central Springs to 3-0 in district action, meaning it would be the only other besides the winner between B-K and Denver.

Northwood-Kensett at Riceville – What other kinds of tricks does Riceville have up its sleeve? The Wildcats have already knocked off two ranked teams on the way to becoming a ranked team themselves (No. 9 in 8-man), and are well on their way to a playoff berth. Don’t discredit the Vikings and coach Dave Capitani, though, who are well versed in how to win big games.