Tornado coach McCabe knows Spencer Coach Pierce all too well
This is the one game Bill McCabe can prepare for.
Being a new coach in a new district, McCabe has often found it difficult to prepare for opponents because they are all new to him.
But not the team Storm Lake entertains on Friday night. McCabe knows them like the back of his hand, and it makes life a whole lot easier for him.
"It's good to play someone familiar, I guess," McCabe said. "It's kind of nice beforehand what to expect. This helps us prepare better."
McCabe knows so much about Spencer because of its head coach. McCabe coached with Spencer boss Al Pierce for six seasons at Northwest, which is now called LM-ACT.
McCabe knows Pierce's offensive system and everything that derives from it.
"I think one of the advantages that we have is I worked under his system and I know the offense and what they're trying to do with blocking schemes. I think its to our advantage. I know what everybody does and what plays they have off of it."
McCabe also added that Pierce knows him as well.
"Our offense is a little different that theirs, but he knows how I think, so it's an advantage to them too," he said.
McCabe won't allow any personal feelings of the matchup against his former mentor to enter into it.
"I think it's more Spencer versus Storm Lake," he said. "I think the biggest problem or advantage, however you want to look at it, is that we know each other. It's a double-edged sword. I'd like to win, but not probably more than any other game."
McCabe knows Pierce so well that the defensive game plan for Storm Lake is crystal clear.
"They like to run the ball," he said. "They're basically off-tackle and sweeps. Defensively, we have to stop the off-tackle play first because that's the staple and No. 1 play. Everything is predicated off that one play. He also wants to establish that play."
Spencer has allowed just 14 points in its last two games. The Tigers are coming off a 7-0 loss to LeMars last week, but beat Humboldt 51-7 two weeks ago.
"They're a very good defensive team," McCabe said. "They held LeMars to seven points. They have good team speed and they're physical."
The performance of Storm Lake's offense will be the whole key to the game.
"I think our main thing is we have to neutralize the line of scrimmage to the best of our ability offensively," McCabe said. "That's something we did last week that helped us out quite a bit."
"I think the game plan's going to be like last week. We're going to try to spread them out and make them defend with the pass and then try to look to run. We want to use the pass to set up the run."
"I think it comes down to if our offense can get first downs with the ball," McCabe added. "We don't necessarily have to score every time, but we have to get first downs and keep their offense off the field."