SL takes on LeMars minus its best player

Thursday, October 4, 2001

LEMARS - If Storm Lake is going to upset LeMars on Friday night, the Tornadoes are going to have to do without their best football player.

Tailback and defensive back Jeff DeHaan dislocated his right thumb last week and had surgery to repair it. He won't play this Friday night and his status for the rest of the season is uncertain.

Storm Lake will turn to Justin Koeppe to start at tailback. He rushed for 112 yards last week in DeHaan's place.

"I think where it's really going to hurt us is defensively," Storm Lake coach Craig Lyon said. "He's just a good cover man. We're not as deep in the secondary as we are in the backfield. I'm comfortable with who we have replacing him on offense and defense. You lose someone of Jeff's caliber, you're losing a really good football player and you're losing depth."

Lyon gave a scouting report on the Bulldogs.

"They have a very fast quarterback, and he's really the center of their offense," he said. "It's just responsibility. We have to make sure that whoever has the quarterback has to make sure they tackle him on the option and whoever has the pitch has to tackle him."

"When you play a team that runs the option and everything that goes with it, you really have to be disciplined. They have two good inside linebackers, they have big people up front, and their secondary runs well. "

Storm Lake is at its best on offense when the passing game is clicking.

"We want to mix the pass and the run," Lyon said. "When we've had success this year it's when we've been able to throw and run the ball equally well."

Lyon addressed the key factors to beating LeMars.

"The big key is not to give up the big play on defense," he said. "That's one huge key. When they've hurt people it's been because of the big play. We just have to play a physical football game, Traditionally, LeMars has been a very physical team. We have to be physical in return."

"They're always well-coached in the things they do and they always play with a lot of confidence," Lyon added. "They're a team that doesn't have doubts in the backs of their minds about how to do things. We have to bring our 'A' game Friday night. I think that's fairly obvious."

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