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PREP FOOTBALL

Trifecta of area teams to host first round playoff games next Friday

Osage got a Class 2A, District 3 title on Friday night based on the 17-point tiebreaker. Its reward?

Face a top-10 team from one of the most loaded districts in the classification.

The Green Devils (5-3) are one of three teams from the area that will be hosting a first round playoff game next Friday and they will welcome No. 6 Spirit Lake (6-2) to Sawyer Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Clear Lake will also host a 2A first round game as the runner-up from District 3. It will welcome Unity Christian (5-3), the third-place team from District 1, to Lions Field. 

Class A top-ranked West Hancock (8-0), who capped off a perfect regular season with a shutout win over third-ranked North Butler to win District 2, faces the fourth place team from District 1 Alta-Aurelia (5-3) at Sanger Field.

Four other qualifiers – Newman Catholic and St. Ansgar in Class A, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura in Class 2A and Northwood-Kensett in 8-Player – will all be on the road.

The Knights (6-2), who finished third in District 2, travel to Winthrop to battle the runner-up from District 4 in No. 9 East Buchanan (7-1); the fourth-placed Saints (3-5) from District 2 will look to avoid their first under .500 season in over a decade if they can spring an upset over the state runner-up last season, District 3 champion this fall and No. 5 Grundy Center (7-1) on the road.

Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (2-6), who squeaked into the playoffs as the fourth seed in District 3 by beating Forest City, faces District 1 champion No. 7 West Lyon (6-2). 

Northwood-Kensett (6-2), despite finishing third in its district, did not draw a champion from another district. Instead, the Vikings will travel and face No. 9 Kee High (7-1), the runner-up from District 5.

All first round games will kick at 7 p.m. After the conclusion of the first round, the teams advancing to the Round of 16 will be re-seeded in four pods of four based on the results from the opening round.

Zach Martin is a sports reporter for the Globe Gazette. Reach him via email at zachary.martin@globegazette.com and follow him on Twitter @zach_martin95.

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