SIOUX CITY | Heelan is heading to the postseason.
The Class 3A Crusaders needed to beat Spirit Lake and have Algona, which had just one district win entering Friday, knock off Spencer. Heelan held on for an 8-3 win over the Indians while Algona downed the Tigers 31-24 in overtime.
That sent Heelan to the postseason for the 36th time and first since 2015. The Crusaders (7-2) will travel to face a familiar foe in Harlan (8-1) on Friday night in a matchup of two of the state's most historically successful programs. Harlan is also appearing in the playoffs for the 36th time.
The winner of that game will face the winner of Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Glenwood (8-1). The Warriors (9-0) completed their perfect run through the regular season as District 1 champions. They are making their ninth trip to the postseason and fourth consecutive.
Top-ranked and defending Class 2A state champion Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley completed an 8-1 regular season and will face Carroll Kuemper (7-2) on Friday to begin the defense of its title.
A victory would set up a quarterfinal against the winner of South Central Calhoun (8-1) and Sioux Center (8-1). The Nighthawks defeated the Warriors in Week 8 to secure the district title.
Another top-ranked team in West Lyon (9-0) begins its push for its fifth state title in its 28th trip to the postseason. The Wildcats' 15th straight playoff trip begins by hosting IKM-Manning (7-2).
Defending Class 1A state champion Hull Western Christian (7-2) will make its ninth appearance in the playoffs after finishing as the district runner-up to the Wildcats. The Wolfpack will travel to face AHSTW (8-1).
A third No. 1 team in Class A will look to reach the UNI-Dome as undefeated West Sioux (9-0) looks to make this its year. The Falcons will host Sioux Central (7-2) in their opener.
District runner-up Westwood (7-2) will face Council Bluffs St. Albert (8-1) on the road in the opening round while district 1 showed its strength by also getting a wild card in Le Mars Gehlen. The Rebels beat the Jays 29-28 in overtime on Friday night, but Gehlen (7-2) still reached the postseason and will travel to face Southwest Valley (9-0).
Remsen St. Mary's brings its 8-0 record into the Eight-Player postseason as it hosts 7-2 Boyer Valley while district runner-up Newell-Fonda (8-1) travels to Audubon (9-0).
The playoffs begin Friday.