HULL - In each of the first three games this season, Storm Lake has fallen in a two-touchdown hole.
Once they were fortunate to get out of it with a win. The reason in each case was turnovers.
Storm Lake must eliminate the mistakes if it wants to eliminate the early-game hole when it visits Hull to take on Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley on Friday night.
"I think the key is for us to get off to a good start," Storm Lake coach Craig Lyon said. "We've been down two touchdowns to start the game in each of our three games. We just can't do that. What's gotten us in the hole has been turnovers. We have to take care of the ball."
Lyon assessed the Tornadoes' opponent, who is 2-1 overall after a 20-14 loss to LeMars last week.
"They play good defense," he said. "They have three pretty good linebackers. Offensively, they have a very good fullback. They like to get him the ball either by running the trap or throwing to him in the flat. A real concern for us defensively is to contain him."
Lyon broke down the Nighthawks on offense and defense.
"They put about eight or nine guys up on the line of scrimmage on defense," he added. "They really dare you to throw and they try to take the run away as much as possible."
"They run a lot of misdirection and that's the trap, the sweep, the quarterback bootleg and an unbalanced line. We're not going to see an offense like this the rest of the year. For us to defend it it's just gap responsibility and good fundamentals, which I think we've gotten better at."
"You've got to stay home and you can't start chasing the ball when it's not your responsibility. We really have to be disciplined and play our responsibility."
Storm Lake had 35 yards of total offense last week. Lyon said eliminating turnovers would be the best solution to getting more production.
"We have to take care of the ball - that's plain and simple," he said. "We have to have no turnovers. And when we don't have any turnovers, we're a pretty good offensive team. I think we showed that against Humboldt. That's a key to any good football team. Don't turn the ball over and you give yourself a chance to do things."