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Week four area football previews: Who will separate themselves?

East Union at Lenox

TIME AND SITE: 7 p.m. in Lenox

RECORDS: East Union 2-1, (1-0 in District); Lenox 2-1 (1-0 in district)

LAST MATCHUP (2017): Lenox 34, East Union 0

LAST WEEK: East Union 38, Mormon Trail 0; Lenox 55, Seymour 8

OVERVIEW: East Union and Lenox is a rivalry contest that gets the blood flowing between the two squads. The desire to win gets ratcheted up each two times this district foes play one another. Lenox won last year. But in two of the three years prior to that, this matchup was decided by 10 points (EU 44-34 in 2016) and four points (Lenox 36-32 in 2014).

The Eagles, in the midst of building with a young and talented core, need those sophomores and freshmen to play with the confidence of upperclassmen.

The Tigers will want to demonstrate their ownership of the line of scrimmage more in this game than in any of the three contests prior.

EU PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior RB/LB No. 19 Joshua Hardy is coming off a week where he ran for 100-plus yards on the ground, two touchdowns and led the Eagles in tackles. Lenox's identity has remained similar for years in that the Tigers will relentlessly look to run the ball. The Eagles must bottle up the Tigers in the box and keep big gains to a minimum.

LENOX PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior QB/DB No. 12 Carter Still and his quick feet make the Tigers go, alongside the help namely of junior back Colton Gordon. Still has to make the right reads that enable him to rip off big gains. EU will stack the box to stop the run game, so Still might have to go over the top and connect on big passes to the likes of Cullen Wood or Trey Whipple.

Murray at Moravia

TIME AND SITE: Friday 7 p.m. in Moravia

RECORDS: Murray 2-1 (0-1); Moravia 1-2 (0-1)

LAST MATCHUP (2015): Moravia 64, Murray 26

LAST WEEK: Lamoni 52, Murray 16; Southeast Warren 46, Moravia 8

OVERVIEW: After scoring 47 points in its season opener, Moravia has managed just eight points in its two losses in the last two weeks. Moravia features three different runners who have over 100 yards on the ground this season.

Murray is looking to rebound on a short week after a Monday loss to Lamoni. The Mustangs also look to stay healthy after picking up a few injuries in their only loss this season.

MORAVIA PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior QB No. 12 Hunter Arbogast is not only the team's quarterback, but Moravia's leading rusher and is second on the team in tackles. He's going to be the guy for the Mohawks

MURRAY PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior RB/DB No. 10 Reece Held will have to be a staple in the Mustangs' offense that will look to get back to its red-hot scoring pace as Held has been the second-most consistent Mustang at finding the end zone.

Southwest Valley at Clarinda

TIME AND SITE: Friday 7 p.m. in Clarinda

RECORDS: SWV 3-0; Clarinda 1-2

LAST WEEK: Southwest Valley 20, West Central Valley 18; Atlantic 21, Clarinda 20 (OT)

OVERVIEW: Well if you value common opponents, the Timberwolves boast a three-point win over Red Oak in the first week of the year. Clarinda, on the other hand, dropped its contest against Red Oak 28-21 in week two.

Expect another close contest for a Southwest Valley team that has seen nothing but nerve-wracking matchups this season.

CLARINDA PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior RB No. 30 William Shull has carried the brunt of the Cardinals offense this season. He's coming off a 193-yard, one-touchdown performance last week against Atlantic.

SWV PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior QB No. 9 Dustin Lund had over 100 yards on the ground last week and has four rushing touchdowns this season. The senior is also capable of throwing the ball, despite completing just one pass last week.

West Central Valley at Nodaway Valley

TIME AND SITE: Friday 7 p.m. in Greenfield

RECORDS: WCV 0-3; Nodaway Valley 0-3

LAST MATCHUP (2015): Nodaway Valley 22, West Central Valley 7

LAST WEEK: AC/GC 14, NV 8; Southwest Valley 20, WCV 18

OVERVIEW: Nodaway Valley gets another chance to pick up its first win of the season and viewers should be looking to see if the Wolverines can play a clean game and not turn the ball over. West Central Valley showed it can hang with a quality opponent after just barely falling to Southwest Valley last week.

WCV PLAYER TO WATCH: Senior QB/RB No. 7 Carson Wadle has been Mr. Give-me-the-ball for the Wildcats as he has accounted for two-thirds of WCV's offense with 424 yards passing and 271 yards rushing.

NV PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore running back No. 27 Tony Ayase has been the Wolverines' No. 1 threat on the ground. Nodaway Valley couldn't get the running game going last week and will need to have that rolling to content with the Wildcats.

Clarke at Mount Ayr

TIME AND SITE: Friday 7 p.m. in Mount Ayr

RECORDS: Mount Ayr 2-1; Clarke 2-1

LAST MATCHUP (2011): Mount Ayr 20, Clarke 12

LAST WEEK: Mount Ayr 20, Central Decatur 12; Red Oak 17, Clarke 3

OVERVIEW: It's two teams that like to run the ball, Clarke just likes to run the ball more. The Indians will look to get back on track after their offense got shut down in Week 3.

Mount Ayr attempted 21 pass attempts last week which almost doubled its totals from the first two weeks. Keep an eye on the Raiders going back to the air against Clarke.

MOUNT AYR PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior No. 71 DL John Shields will be disrupting the Indians offense. It's going to happen. How much depends on how quickly he can get in the backfield after a 12-tackle performance last week.

CLARKE PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior No. 70 DL Zane Hart provides an equal threat on the opposing defensive line for Clarke. Hart is coming off a terrific 16-tackle day and the Raiders are going to see this 6-3, 220-pound man in their faces consistently.

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