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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

The Cyclones host #2 Southern Cal with a trip to the dome on the line

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Alta football team is officially on a roll and it couldn't have come at a better time.

Following their agonizing overtime loss to Akron-Westfield in the season finale, The Cyclones have come out on fire in the playoffs knocking off #8 Algona Bishop Garrigan 31-13 and taking their revenge on #7 Akron-Westfield 28-20 in a six day span.

The underdog in both games, the Cyclones certainly looked like the favorites as their defense was stellar shutting down two of Class A's most explosive offenses.

Their offensive line has been dominant at the point of attack, and Jack Mills has been electric with over 300 rushing yards and seven TDs in the playoffs.

As amazing as their dominant win over Bishop Garrigan and their down-to-the-wire thriller over the Westerners have been, there's little time for celebrating or patting on the back as Alta will face their biggest challenge of the season come Friday.

Southern Cal sits at 8-1 on the season and are currently rated second by the Des Moines Register. The Mustangs breezed through district two a pefect 6-0 with Bishop Garrigan being their closest game at 42-7.

On the season, Southern Cal has outscored their opponents 436-73 with their only loss coming at the hands of Roland Story (11-0), the third ranked team in class 2A.

The Mustangs live up to their name as their team is extremely fast at every position and loaded with playmakers.

Even after losing star running back Kelan Richardson (835 rushing yards, 15TDs, 77 tackles) to a season ending injury, they have easily handled their last four games including a 42-14 dismantling of Marcus-Meriden Cleghorn and a 35-6 rout of LeMars Gehlen.

Eric Vogel has shined all season with 1025 rushing yards and 16TDs. His big play ability is also evident on the defensive side of the ball as he's averaged nearly 22 yards per return on his seven interceptions this season.

The Cyclones size and athleticism on the offensive line paved the way for their success this season as they near 3000 rushing yards this fall with 40 scores on the ground led by Mills' 1389 and 20 TDs.

The Mustangs' offensive philosophy is much of the same as they've racked up 2994 yards and 50TDs on the ground in 2008 with the majority of that coming on the right side of the line behind first team all-state lineman Mark Blessington.

The six-foot-five, 300 pound Blessington is considering offers from Iowa, Kansas, and Louisville among others and has opened up massive holes for the Southern Cal backfield all season.

Projected to be a defensive lineman in college, Blessington has been absolutely unblockable this year en route to 78 stops from the defensive tackle position. However, outside of Roland-Story, he's yet to see an offensive line as physical and fast as Alta's senior-laden front five.

Friday night's matchup in Alta figures to be a spectacular one as the two like-minded teams will battle it out in the trenches with a trip to the Dome going to the winner.

The Cyclones fell short a year ago in heartbreaking fashion to West Hancock in overtime.

Southern Cal made it all the way to the semifinals in class 1A last season before falling to Council Bluff St Alberts and dropping down to Class A this fall.

Kickoff in Alta is at 7PM.

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