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Potential playoff berth on the line

By Staff | Oct 24, 2008

LeMars coach Jim Boyd expects tonight’s game with Estherville Lincoln Central to be a real “slobberknocker.”

“That’s men down in the trenches-digging in and playing power football,” he said.

In professional wrestling, the term is used to describe a wild brawl.

With wet conditions this week and LeMars Gehlen Catholic having played on Thursday on the football field, coach Boyd’s prediction may certainly come to fruition.

Also, this game has playoff implications for LeMars as a victory gives them a ticket to the postseason. An ELC victory combined with a Denison-Schleswig loss to Spencer on Friday could give even the Midgets an outside chance at a playoff as three teams would tie for fourth with a 3-4 district record. Coach Shultz said he hasn’t tried to check out who has more points though.

So let’s just play the games first.

“We want to play as well as we can and finish above.500 after our lull in the season,” said ELC coach Jerry Shultz, whose team enters the game with a 4-4 record. “It’s the seniors’ last game so hopefully they want to go down there and give their best effort of the year.”

With possible wet conditions, both teams may have to rely on the run and that won’t upset either coach.

“Both teams feature the running game,” said Boyd.

LeMars has been a powerhouse the past few years, but this season, the Bulldogs enter the final game with a 3-5 record, 3-3 in district play.

“We’ve suffered all kinds of injuries this season,” he said. “We’ve also been plagued with turnovers and penalties.”

Boyd said his team has averaged four to five turnovers a game.

“With a wet ball conditions, that will be a problem,” he said.

For the most part, the Bulldogs’ wins haven’t come easy either. LeMars beat Denison-Schleswig 12-7 and MOC-Floyd Valley 20-17. Like ELC, the Bulldogs’ best offensive game came against Storm Lake in a 31-8 victory.

Looking at ELC, Coach Boyd said he doesn’t see a lot of weaknesses.

“They’re big and I think they have talent,” he said. “The coaches have got ’em hungry and they’re playing good football.”

Coach Shultz said the Bulldogs are a typical LeMars team.

“They have very good athletes and good team speed,” he said.

LeMars runs the wishbone offense and Shultz said that, like Spencer, the Bulldogs have a good quarterback.

“The Spencer quarterback gave us fits, so we’ll have to do a better job,” he said.

“Defensively, they (LeMars) has a strong linebacker core and their front four are quick and strong.”

Fans should expect a very physical game.

“LeMars is coming off a tough game with Heelan, so they’ll want to bounce back,” Shultz said.