DES MOINES - West Des Moines Dowling is back on familiar ground as it begins another title chase in the high school football playoffs.
Dowling completed a wire-to-wire run at No. 1 in Class 4A in The Associated Press polls on Monday. It's the seventh time Dowling has been on top in the final rankings, tying the Maroons with Waterloo East for the most No. 1 finishes.
The defending state champion, Dowling takes a 22-game winning streak into a first-round playoff game against West Des Moines Valley on Wednesday night.
Aplington-Parkersburg finished No. 1 in Class 1A for the second straight year. The other leaders were Grinnell in 3A, Sigourney-Keota in 2A and Hubbard-Radcliffe in Class A.
Dowling received 18 of 20 first-place votes from a statewide media panel after finishing the regular season with a 47-7 victory over Indianola. No. 2 Bettendorf and No. 3 Iowa City High each had one first-place vote.
Valley was involved in the only major change in the final poll, falling from fourth to ninth after a 30-7 loss to Ames. The Tigers' only other loss had been to Dowling.
Defending Class A champion Hubbard-Radcliffe also was No. 1 all season. Manning, which lost to the Rebels in last year's title game, finished a strong No. 2.
Hubbard-Radcliffe had 12 first-place votes and 187 points on Monday. Manning was voted No. 1 on five ballots and had 176 points.
Grinnell led the 3A poll for the final five weeks, Sigourney-Keota spent all but the first week at No. 1 in 2A and Aplington-Parkersburg was on top in 1A the last four weeks.
Southern Cal, last year's state champion, led the 1A poll the first five weeks but didn't make the final Top Ten and failed to qualify for the playoffs. The Mustangs, sixth last week, dropped out after losing to LM-ACT on Friday night. They had lost earlier to Algona Garrigan.
MOC-Floyd Valley made its first appearance of the season in 3A at No. 10 after knocking off LeMars on Friday night. LeMars, which had been ninth, dropped out.
Pomeroy-Palmer, known more for its basketball teams, broke into the Class A poll at No. 9 after making the playoffs for the first time. Galva-Holstein, ranked two weeks ago, returned in a tie for 10th with Wednesday's playoff opponent, Clay Central-Everly.