The Iowa High School Athletic Association has released the brackets for the 2010 Iowa state football playoffs, with six Marshalltown-area football teams earning their place in the postseason.
The Marshalltown Bobcats (3-6) found themselves on the short end of a 21-0 decision at Mason City in Friday's CIML Iowa Conference and regular season finale, but still managed to make it to back-to-back appearances in the playoffs for the first time in program history.
The Bobcats tied with Urbandale for the 15th spot in Class 4A's West Division point standings, but Urbandale won the tiebreaker on the strength of one game. With no head-to-head game to break the tie initially, the protocal forces a comparison of the two teams' opponents records for the entire season. Urbandale's opponents finished the year with a 43-38 record (.530), while Marshalltown's foes went 43-39 (.524).
Mason City, despite its win over Marshalltown, finished 17th in the final West point standings - one spot out of postseason qualification.
The Bobcats will take on top-ranked Dowling Catholic (9-0) on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Des Moines East. It's one of only two neutral sites in the first round of 4A play, and that's if you count Cedar Falls' opener in the UNI-Dome against Burlington.
Class 2A District 7 champion West Marshall (7-2) will host Interstate 35 (6-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in State Center. The Roadrunners won their regular season finale over Colfax-Mingo, 33-26, to decide fourth place in District 8 and earn their place across from West Marshall.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (7-2) is the area's only Class 1A representative in the postseason. The Rebels, who took second in District 4, will host Dike-New Hartford (7-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 'The Pit'. It's a rematch of a 2005 state quarterfinal contest which the visiting Wolverines won, 21-0.
Two area teams qualified out of Class A, and from neighboring districts. Third-ranked North Tama (9-0), which has reached the UNI-Dome each of the last two seasons, will host North Butler (2-7) on Wednesday in Traer. North Butler is one of only two teams to have made the postseason with a 2-7 record. The other North Iowa, is also in Class A.
Colo-NESCO (5-5), which sent North Butler to fourth in District 3 with their 36-19 victory over the Bearcats Friday night in Colo, will have to travel more than 150 miles to meet District 4 runner-up Postville (7-2) on Wednesday.
The longest trip for the area's playoff qualifiers has been reserved for the Meskwaki Warriors, who earned the program's first-ever playoff berth in just its second year of existence. The Warriors (4-6) defeated Twin Cedars, 52-30, and got the necessary help with Seymour's win over Melcher-Dallas to gain the fourth spot out of Class 8-Man's District 5.
Their reward is a 163-mile trip to take on top-ranked Lenox (9-0), which will be making its sixth straight postseason appearance. The Tigers were the 2008 champions of 8-man football and finished as runners-up to Armstrong-Ringsted last fall.