GAME CAPSULE: West Branch vs Beckman Catholic (Dyersville)

Class 1A Round of 16 Playoffs: It's size, size, and more size

By Jason Miller  |   October 28, 2021, 12:00 p.m.

LOCATION - Beckman Catholic HS, Dyersville

GAME TIME - 7:00

RADIO/TV - The BearCast will be on the play-by-play call. If you cannot be at the game, let us bring the game to you on your computer or smartphone. On your computer, the stream will appear here on the home page of the website. On iOS and Android devices, download the Mixlr app (iOS | Android) and search for "West Branch Football."

Tune in to the BearCast at 6:30 for the pregame, as Steven Grace and Mike Quinlan will be on the call live. “The Coach” Jarod Tylee will roam the sidelines, offering in game analysis and halftime/postgame interviews.

For print media, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the West Branch Times,, and WestBranch.Football will be at the the game.

SOCIAL MEDIA - If you cannot be at the game or chose not to listen via the web, and want up-to-date game action and statistics, follow the Bears on Twitter at @WBBearsFootball or like/follow the West Branch Football page on Facebook for updates.

RANKINGS - Beckman is 9-0 on the season and ranked 5th or 6th in all three major polls. The Bears remain unranked, and are 7-2. 

THE LAST TIME THESE TWO TEAMS PLAYED - (2020) The Bears defeated The Blazers in Dyersville, 35-21.

BECKMAN CATHOLIC enters the contest riding a nine game winning streak. The Blazers are one of the biggest teams up front in the state of Iowa, let alone Class 1A. Averaging 250 pounds across the deck, the team in green and gold are menacing. Throw in a physical specimen in 5-9, 205 running back Owen Huehnergarth (1221 yards, 21 TD), QB Cayden Gassman (463 yards, 7 rush TD), and Nick Wulfekuhle (417, 5TD) and you have a trio of confusion for a defense. Gassman has also thrown for 927 yards and 11 TD. Really sound football is what the Blazers play. They are like novocaine: sooner or later, they will take away the pain but still have hurt to instill upon you. Their defense creates two turnovers per contest.

Common opponent: Waterloo Columbus. The Blazers won a 35-34 thriller, coming back from two scores down. The Bears lost to the Sailors, 17-16, in week two.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Jason Koopman. The big fella is an anchor on both sides of the football.

WEST BRANCH is now in survive and advance mode. There is no tomorrow. The Bears defense has been the lunchpail unit all season. Very physical and mixing up their coverages and blitzes. They will need to be on point to match the size and physical play of the Blazers. Seniors Cash Woody, Drake Berry, Cole Bailey, and Brady Hunger will be counted upon in huge doses from their respective defensive positions. On offense, West Branch will look to maintain its composure and ground game. However, QB Carver Boelk is coming off his best performance of the season in week 9 (133 yards passing, 43 yards rushing with 3 TD). The Bears are going to try and match body blows and be the one to throw the haymaker. It is gonna be a knock down, drag out brawl on the turf.

QUOTABLE: “We have achieved some great things so far this year. To beat Beckman would be a major achievement. They are very big and physical. All we can ask of our kids is they give a perfect effort." – Head Coach Butch Pedersen