This Friday the Prairie Hawks face off against district rival Iowa City West in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The winner will advance to the semi-finals, and play out the rest of their season in the UNI-Dome.
Prairie already beat the Trojans once this season, at the same location they will be playing at the second time around, John Wall Field. On week 5 the Hawks conquered the Trojans 39-20, despite Prairie scoring their lowest point total in district play. They racked up 349 yards on the ground, only passing on 6 of the 57 plays, and eating up clock to keep the talented and explosive Trojan offense off the field.
The Hawks are hoping to be able to execute again in the same fashion, but Iowa City West players and coaches have other ideas.
In the Iowa City Press-Citizen, members of the Trojan team expressed their desire to get revenge, more so than against their supposed biggest rival, Iowa City High.
“That’s one of the one losses that really mattered to us. I’d rather win against Prairie than against City,” said Trojan defensive end Dillon Shephard.
The article itself called the week 5 loss “embarrassing,” and head coach Garrett Hartwig thinks the Hawks got lucky the first time.
“We’re more disciplined. We understand the urgency and the level of intensity you have to play with. I think we also let a tough City High loss turn to two losses in a row,” Hartwig told the Press-Citizen.
The game will likely turn out to be a physical battle, but also an offensive shootout. With both seasons on the line, players are going to leave everything they have out on the field. The Hawks are still looking to prove they belong in the playoffs, despite passing every test thrown at them throughout the year. The Trojans are looking to prove the first matchup was a fluke, and show they are the superior district 8 team.