On the hunt for a district victory
Playing top-ranked Bishop Heelan took more of a toll on the Estherville Lincoln Central football team than just a loss.
A few injuries throws the lineup in disarray.
The good news is quarterback Alex Arends, who was injured before half last week, is expected to play. Also returning to the lineup after a week’s absence is Jeremy Hunt.
“Practices have gone well this week,” said ELC coach Jerry Shultz. “The kids stepping up are doing a nice job. This let’s us find out what kind of depth we have and we just go from there.”
Meanwhile time slows for no one as the Midgets, still seeking their first district win, travel to Spencer today.
The Tigers opened the season with a 36-0 loss to Emmetsburg, a team now rated No.2 in Class 1A.
Since then, the Tigers have wins over Cherokee, LeMars and Storm Lake.
“I thought we’d be pretty solid this year,” said Spencer coach Jim Tighe. “Emmetsburg is a good team and we played poorly.”
Tighe remembers the last time ELC and Spencer met in a varsity contest.
“They’d have a third down and six and then complete a pass,” he said. “It was frustrating for our defense.”
Despite ELC’s two losses, Tighe expects a tough matchup.
“They’re coming off two successful seasons and they’re very well coached,” he said. “We know we have to play well to stay with them.”
The coach views the Midgets as having a balanced offense.
“They have a great back and a big line that is starting to come together,” he said. “They moved the ball against Heelan as well as anyone.”
The Tigers’ goal is the same as any team’s.
“We want to shut down the run and get pressure on the quarterback,” he said.
Offensively, keys for his team is to get off to a good start and not get into third-and-long situations.
When coach Shultz looks at Spencer, he sees a solid team.
“They’re undefeated in the district and have quality athletes,” he said. “Their offensive line gets off the ball and the backs execute the offense well.
“They also have a go-to guy, (Kyle) Fitch at receiver.”
Most people have heard about the Tigers’ kicker too, Sam Brockshus who kicked a 55-yard field goal against Storm Lake last week.
“Defensively, they run to the ball well,” Shultz said.
However, the Midgets should fare well if they come out with the same energy they had during the first half against Heelan and maintain it the whole game.
“This is a big game for both teams,” Shultz said.