Despite pounding on every team it's played so far, Aurelia High football coach Myron Radke says his team still has a long way to go.
"We aren't where we want to be on offense or defense and still have a lot to work on," said Radke, whose team is the top-ranked eight-man team in Iowa in some polls.
"We're still having some mistakes on offense and on defense, we aren't tackling well," he said. "If you do the little things well, those things will fall into place."
So far, things have fallen into place well for the Bulldogs, who are 5-0 overall and 1-0 in district play.
Aurelia finally played its first district game of the season last week in a 56-19 win over Remsen-Union.
In that contest, the Bulldogs scored a touchdown in nearly every way possible, including via the run, via the pass, by an interception return, punt return and kickoff return."
"We were a little lucky last week," the modest Radke said. "That's not going to happen in every game."
Friday night, Aurelia plays host to Charter Oak-Ute.
"They're a very hard-nosed football team, one that could give us trouble," Radke said. "They have some tough kids who run hard, but just when you tighten up against them, they'll spread you out and lob passes right over you."
He added that on defense, Charter Oak-Ute has tended to overreact at times.
"That's just because they play aggressively on both sides of the ball," added Radke. "And they're a team that can put the ball in the end zone."
Offensively, Radke's teams always strive for balance between the pass and run.
"But we want to establish the run before we do anything," he added. "That's what we'll want to to Friday against Charter-Oak Ute. Once we do that, we'll keep them off stride by mixing the pass in."
Last week, Aurelia's Josh Bechtel returned to the lineup and took a spot at running back. Tim Fordyce, who played the first four games at a running back, has moved back to wide-out, where he played last year.
Last week, Bechtel ran for 119 yard on just 15 carries.
On occasion, Radke said, he won't hesitate to set Fordyce at a running back position.
"He's very good at that, but last week, he was especially tough at his linebacker position," he added. "He played a great game on defense last week."
He added that consuming clock via first downs and staying turnover-free will be the keys for Friday night's home game.
"If we have the ball, they can't score," Radke said. "And that's what scares you about Charter-Oak Ute. They're very capable of scoring touchdowns."