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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Slates wiped clean, area teams begin district play

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Storm Lake football hosts Sergeant Bluff-Luton 7:30 PM

The Tornadoes (1-1) look to regroup following last week's rough outing which Storm Lake lost 14-0. Following a zero turnover effort against Cherokee in week one, the Tornadoes committed five in week two's loss including an interception taken 60 yards the other way for a score.

Minus the turnovers, the offense still seemed to be clicking against Sheldon as they out gained the Orabs with 274 yards of offense.

"Our line played well," said head coach Bill McCabe. "Offensively and defensively, I thought they played a pretty good ball game.

After Tony Pertzborn's breakout game against Cherokee, he was heavily defended by Sheldon freeing up Courtney Goodchild for nine grabs and 99 yards. Ben Seaman also found some success against a physical Sheldon front as he neared the 100-yard mark.

"In a spread offense you've got to throw to more than one guy," said McCabe. "When we can get teams spread out and run the ball, we're a successful team. We've just got to concentrate on finishing drives off when we get down there. We had opportunities against Sheldon."

Storm Lake will look to be more opportunistic in the red zone Friday as district play begins with Sergeant Bluff-Luton (2-0). Sergeant Bluff is coming off of a 34-24 victory against Hull-Western Christian last week and a 26-0 win over South Sioux City the week prior.

"I think Sheldon helped to prepare us for Sergeant Bluff," said McCabe. "They both run a form of the I. They both run a lot of off-tackle. That's they're bread and butter, and we've got to stop it to be successful. Offensively, we've just got to get something going and get a score. We were pressing last week. We wanted to get one in too badly. It's a lot like baseball. Once you get one hit, the rest start coming in."

#3 Alta football hosts LeMars Gehlen Catholic 7:00 PM

Alta enters district play as the only unbeaten team in Class A district one. It was far from easy for the Cyclones as they were pushed by both Sioux Central (21-8) and 2A Pocahontas (14-7) in their non-district tune-ups.

The Cyclones don't get much of a breather this week either as they meet with LeMars Gehlen, a squad picked to rival Alta atop the district. LeMars Gehlen is coming off of a 14-10 loss to Clinton.

Alta can breathe a little easier heading into the game knowing that their ground game seems to be hitting on all cylinders heading into Friday's matchup.

The Cyclones look to continue to ride their trio of senior dominance in the backfield consisting of running backs Michael Huseman and Jack Mills, and fullback Jake Syndergaard. The three have combined for 332 yards, 5.6 yards per carry, and 3 TDs on the ground. Mills and Huseman have also combined for 103 receiving yards and a score.

Defensively, Austin Stille leads the effort at linebacker with 29 tackles heading into Friday. Junior Schuyler Radke, who missed significant time with an injury last fall, seems to have regained his form and is currently second in tackles with 24.

Syndergaard will look to continue to be a disruptive force along the defensive front four as he's collected 16 tackles from the end position, ten of which came against Pocahontas last week.

They Cyclones have played two rush oriented teams thus far and virtually blanked the Pocahontas passing game last week, but that won't be quite as easy of a feat against LeMars Gehlen.

Quarterback Taylor Wurth put up 300 yards and a score through the air to go along with 100 rushing yards and 3 TDs to lead the Gehlen offense. Jordan Sitzman offers a solid counter punch at running back as he nears 100 yards as their second option.

Alta showed a great amount of improvement in just two weeks, and they'll look for that trend to continue Friday night in one of the better Class A matchups.

#7 Newell-Fonda football at North Iowa 7:30 PM

The Newell-Fonda Mustangs (2-0) enter district play undefeated and sporting a #7 ranking in Class A following their decisive 33-7 win over Buffalo Ridge a week ago.

The Mustangs and Bison ground games dominated the first half of football in Newell last Friday as the Mustangs held a 21-7 lead at the half. Newell-Fonda's defense took over from there as they shut out the Bison in the second half.

Josh Hopper had a big night for the Mustangs as he went for 122 yards and 2 TDs in the win. Cody Wells highlighted the defensive effort on an interception return for a TD.

"That's who we are as a football team," said Mustang head coach Brian Wilken. "We run first, and we try to throw it when we want to, not when we need to."

One area of concern for head coach Brian Wilken and the Mustangs will be the run defense that has seen two consecutive opponents run rampant at times.

"We've got to run the ball and stop the run to be successful," said Wilken. "That doesn't change from week to week. Overall, we haven't played well against the run this year. "But the kids responded in the second half last week. They were a lot more assignment oriented. That made the difference last week. Hopefully we can carry that over to this week and the rest of the season."

After playing a pair of Class 2A opponents in their tune-up for district play, one would figure it's all downhill for the Mustangs from here, but their district schedule includes the likes of #7 Bishop Garrigan, Clay-Central-Everly, Rockwell-City, and #3 Southern Cal.

"We're a little dinged up," said Wilken. "But that's part of football. Hopefully playing those teams prepared us for our district season, but you never know."

This week's opponent, North Iowa-Buffalo Center (0-2), hasn't received the preseason hype or accolades of the other traditional powerhouses in the district, but they're not one to be overlooked either. Coach Wilken and his club aren't worrying too much about their own accolades or rankings up to this point either.

"They're big up front," said Wilken. "We don't have tremendous size, but we've got to move their guys to be successful. We don't spend a lot of time focusing or talking about rankings. Right now the most important game for us is Buffalo Center, and the most important play if opening kickoff. We want to play a perfect game, but we've got to have a perfect first play first."

Buffalo Ridge football hosts Clarion-Goldfield 7:00 PM

The Bison (1-2) didn't get the result they would have liked against Newell-Fonda last week, but Buffalo Ridge is definitely happy to see the offense providing some excitement heading into district play this week.

Tyler Kenny made his first career start and consistently found holes as he went for 126 yards in his debut.

"Kenny had a really good game for us," said Buffalo Ridge co-head coach Dale Tokheim. "More importantly, our offensive line is starting to figure things out and really understanding our offense."

John Alesch, Patrick Mcareavy, and Ray Wedeking have proven themselves as reliable receiving options as the trio hauled in 8 grabs for 91 yards and a touchdown against Newell-Fonda.

"We've got some good options out wide," said Tokheim. "We can spread the ball around and mix it up a bit offensively."

Turnovers continue to be an area of concern after the Bison committed five last Friday and five the week before.

"The big thing is making sure we put the kids in good positions to make plays," said Tokheim. "We had some spacing issues that led to some interceptions last week, but we had just one fumble compared to three the week before. It was a point of emphasis for us."

The Bison defense struggled to contain the Mustang ground attack, but did has looked solid this season when given decent field position to work with. Mark Cronin continues to be a force at linebacker as he's averaging ten tackles a game.

"Cronin's the leader of our defense," said Tokheim. "They haven't been able to make a mistake in the last two games when the other team is starting on our 35. We've just got to know our roles and play assignment football. Coach Faulkenberry has done a great job of taking mistakes they have made and getting them corrected. We've just got to help them out a bit offensively."

The Bisons' opponent this Friday, Clarion-Goldfield (0-2), fell to 3A Hampton-Dumont last week by a score of 26-14.

"We don't know too much about them," said Tokheim. "They lost to a solid 3A ball club. We're going to have to play physical because it's going to be a dog fight. Everyone on the team has a role, and every role is going to be important this week."

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