Who: Oskaloosa (2-5) vs Carlisle (4-3)
What: Class 3A - Pod 12 - First round
When: Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.
Carlisle owns a 3-2 advantage since 2011. These two last met in 2015, which resulted in a 36-15 loss for Oskaloosa.
One key player for Oskaloosa
Sophomore Marty Knox has been a nice surprise for the Indian defense this year. The defensive tackle has recorded 18.5 tackles along with 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He will be going up against the third best rushing offense in the class. The last time Osky went up against a top five rushing team was against Grinnell, who put up 525 rushing yards and 80 points. Knox will need to be one of the impact players on that defensive line and shed off blocks to slow down the very good Carlisle rushing attack. If the Indians don’t slow down the run, it could be a quick exit from the playoffs.
Keys for Oskaloosa
As previously mentioned, Oskaloosa has to find a way to slow down the Wildcats’ running game. They have a trio of 600-plus yard rushers in Karson Dunn, Nic Goodhue and Jonathan Dunn. Osky will have their hands full with those three and slowing them down. Offensively, Oskaloosa did some nice things last week in their win over Newton. Quarterback Keaton Flaherty is getting more comfortable at the position and he has a couple of talented weapons outside in Cooper Spry, Cale Holmberg and the emergence of Landon Briggs. That trio will need to make some big plays this week along with the running game that has only averaged 2.6 yards per carry this year. The Indians got some good news last week with the return of Andrew Else. They’ve executed well in short yardage runs but will need bigger chunks on first and second down to keep things moving. Keep an eye out for special teams plays. The Indians made some costly errors on special teams and fourth down last week that could loom large in a playoff game. Winner of this one advances to the second round where they will travel to No. 4 Dallas Center-Grimes.