As high school football teams across Iowa prepare for this week's games, two squads scheduled to be in action will be idle Friday night (Oct. 7, 2016).

Waterloo Columbus Catholic is cancelling it's Class-2A District 4 game against top-ranked North Fayette Valley, due to a lack of available varsity players. The Sailors were supposed to host the TigerHawks at T.J. McLaughlin Field in Waterloo.

"It's on our end," Columbus athletic director Tom Ulses said. "We chose to forfeit because we have only 11 or 12 varsity players who are cleared to play. Adding freshmen and sophomores who aren't ready to play varsity football wasn't an option, so we made the decision to forfeit due to safety concerns."

Ulses explained that the Sailors went into last week's game at second-ranked La Porte Union with a depleted roster of 18 junior and senior players. He said four of them were injured during the game and a fifth was lost to a sportsmanship violation ejection, making him unavailable for this week's game. Two other players are recovering from concussions and haven't been cleared to suit up.

Ulses said he and Coach Brad Schmitt talked about the situation on Saturday morning. The decision to cancel this week's game was made on Tuesday, following discussions with administrators at North Fayette Valley and the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). Per IHSAA regulations, the cancellation will require the Sailors to forfeit the game to the TigerHawks.

"It was a tough decision to make because our kids want to play and it was a home game for us," Ulses said. "However, the coaches and I feel it's in the best interests of our players to take the extra week to get healthy. We did not want to further compromise the health of our student-athletes by playing them in positions that they were not ready to play or able to play in."

By rule, North Fayette Valley will be credited with a 1-0 victory over the Sailors, but the TigerHawks will be awarded the maximum 17 points in the playoff tie-breaker system, IHSAA Information Director Bud Legg confirmed on Wednesday. With the result, North Fayette Valley improves to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in Class-2A District 4 play. Columbus falls to 1-6 and 1-4, respectively.

The Sailors' next scheduled game is at Cascade on Oct. 14.

"Our intention to is play our week eight and week nine games," Ulses said. "Obviously, we'll be evaluating our numbers at the start of next week. As of right now, we're comfortable that we'll be able to play those games as scheduled."