The North Iowa football regular season is coming to a close. There are just two weeks remaining in the regular season, which means that for most of Iowa's boys of fall, it will soon be time to hang up the cleats and shoulder pads until next August.
But for a select few, the end of the regular season is just the beginning.
Teams like undefeated Clear Lake, St. Ansgar, West Hancock, and Algona will soon face their toughest competition yet in the postseason, the true test for any team that hopes to raise a championship trophy.
The following is a list of North Iowa's remaining undefeated teams. While they could be toppled at any times, these four have proven their worth on the football field in 2019.
Clear Lake, No. 2- Class 2A, 7-0 record
Southern Illinois commit Jaylen DeVries has had an outstanding senior season as the Lions' signal caller. DeVries has thrown for 1657 yards, with 23 touchdowns and only one interception on the year.
Not only a threat through the air, DeVries is a weapon on the ground. He is the Lions' second-leading rusher, with 63 rushes on the season, and five touchdowns.
While they are one of the more pass-happy teams in North Iowa, the Lions are not one-dimensional. Kody Kearns and Nick Danielson are the top two receivers, with 646 and 563 yards, respectively. But the team's most potent weapon on offense has been Jaden O'Brien-Green.
O'Brien-Green has rushed for 705 yards on 90 carries this season, with an average of 7.8 yards per carry, and seven rushing touchdowns.
The Lions are well known for their offensive prowess, but lately the defense has started to steal the show. The Lions have shut out their opponent in three straight games, the latest a 35-0 beatdown of the Forest City Indians, in which the Lions allowed just 52 yards of total offense.
After missing out on the 2018 postseason despite a 7-2 record, the Lions have cruised to the No. 2 ranking in Class 2A. With weapons all over the field on offense and defense, Clear Lake is one of Iowa's teams to beat.
Algona, No. 3- Class 2A, 7-0 record
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Last season, Algona cruised to a 9-1 record, before being bounced early in the playoffs. This year, Algona is still undefeated in mid-October, thanks to the dominating play of two main players, quarterback Tyler Manske, and dual-threat Wyatt Wegener.
Manske has thrown for 10 touchdowns on the season, and has been successful on 63.2 percent of his passing attempts. Wegener, who is being recruited by the University of Iowa, has rushed for 891 yards on 55 attempts, with a team-high 15 touchdowns.
The Bulldogs are much more run-heavy, but when they do pass, Wegener is the go-to option. Wegener has a team-high 20 receptions, with 526 yards and five touchdowns. Algona has beaten all but one of its opponents by at least 20 points, the only exception a one-point victory over Webster City.
West Hancock, No. 1- Class A, 7-0 record
The Eagles are currently ranked No. 1 in Class A football, thanks to the dominant performance of their trio of running backs. Tate Hagen has been the leader out of the backfield, with 154 carries and 1154 yards on the season, with a team-high 20 touchdowns. Cole Kelly and Josef Smith have split the remaining carries with 70 apiece. Kelly has 13 touchdowns and 769 yards, while Smith had 595 yards and five scores.
The Eagles have begun the season with seven straight dominating wins. The closest game was the season-opener at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, which the Eagles won by 22 points. At 23 seasons since their last state championship, the Eagles are due for another state title. West Hancock previously won football state titles in 1973 and 1996. If tradition holds, they should be taking home another trophy this season.
St. Ansgar, No. 2- Class A, 7-0 record
The Saints are well positioned for a deep postseason run, due in large part to the otherworldly performance of senior running back Jack Sievert. Through seven games, Sievert has rushed for 1297 yards on 167 carries, an average of 7.8 yards per carry, and 185 rushing yards per game. Sievert's numbers are good for eighth best in the state.
While Sievert is far and away the Saints biggest weapon, backup running back Ryan Cole has had an impressive year of his own, rushing for 727 yards on 61 carries, an average of 11.9 yards per carry. Cole also leads the team with four interceptions on defense. The defense has allowed more than 14 points in a game only once this season.
The Saints are a team to watch as the postseason approaches. The Saints received one No. 1 vote in the latest rankings, and are just seven points behind West Hancock in the poll. With an eventual postseason clash with the Eagles appearing likely, the Saints have a lot of fun football to look forward to this season.