Ankeny, the top-ranked team in Iowa, is playing on borrowed time when it faces Valley (West Des Moines) tonight in an Class 4A quarterfinal playoff. While longtime Ankeny coach Jerry Pezzetti, who has the third-most wins in the state, is likely to return next year, the team could be dramatically different next season as a new high school is being built in the Ankeny school district, one of the few in the state actually growing in population.
MORE: Playoff Capsule
Ankeny (11-0), which is averaging 48.3 points per game this season, hasn't forgotten that Valley (9-2) eliminated the Hawks 14-3 in a 4A semifinal last year. The Tigers allow only 14.8 points a game. Both teams will be playing on short rest. Ankeny defeated Sioux City East 45-10 on Monday in a state quarterfinal while Valley defeated Johnston 42-27 on Monday.
Here are four other non-Super 25 games to watch:
El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.) at Mission Viejo (Calif.), Friday
It's been seven years since these two Orange County teams have met. Both come in at 9-0 with high-powered offenses. Mission Viejo is averaging 51.8 points a game while El Toro is putting up 47.2 points a game.
Conner Manning, a Utah commit, leads El Toro with an average of 392 yards a game with 38 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. Mission Viejo running back Max Redfield has run for eight touchdowns and caught five touchdown passes.
Nequa Valley (Naperville, Ill.) at Bolingbroook (Ill.) Friday
Running back Joey Rhattigan has run for 23 touchdowns behind a big offensive line for 10-0 Nequa Valley, which averages 45.3 points per game. Bolingbrook (8-2), the defending state champion, may have quarterback Alvin Bailey back from a knee injury that kept him out of his team's last four games, which could give Bolingbrook a boost in this Class 8A second-round game. Both of the Bolingbrook losses came with Bailey out of the lineup. Bolingbrook knocked the Wildcats out of the playoffs last season.
North Shore (Houston) at La Porte (Texas), Friday
North Shore (8-0) is rolling, averaging 50.1 points a game, and the Mustangs' big scores are helped by a defense that allows only 13 points a game. The Bulldogs (7-1) have held three of their past four opponents to a single touchdown.
Traverse City (Mich.) Central at Midland (Mich.), Friday
This Div. 2 District final pits two teams that haven't met in the postseason since 1983. Midland (10-0) is led by quarterback Alec Johnson, who has thrown for 1,247 yards and 13 touchdowns and has run for six touchdowns and 353 yards. T.J. Schepperly has also been stellar for the Trojans (9-1), passing for 802 yards and seven touchdowns and running for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @JimHalley.