A fresh start for ELC against SB-L
Estherville Lincoln Central will forget last week’s four turnovers and get a fresh start as Sergeant Bluff-Luton comes to town this week.
It is only the second meeting between the two teams which are separated by an over two-hour bus ride.
The Warriors won 21-6 in last year’s meeting in Sergeant Bluff.
So far this season, the Warriors have had several close games.
They opened the season with a 21-20 win over South Sioux City (Neb.). Storm Lake won 22-20 in Week 1 of District 1 play and MOC-Floyd Valley won by a touchdown, 23-17 over the Warriors.
“We have some kids that hadn’t played a lot of varsity,” said SB-L coach Chris Zyzda. “They’ve improved over the last couple weeks.”
Last week, SB-L returned to the win column with a31-14 victory over Denison-Schleswig.
Zyzda said the two teams traded scores to start the game and then the Monarchs suddenly caught the turnover bug.
“We capitalized on the short field and led 25-7 at halftime,” Zyzda said.
The second half was essentially a stalemate with the Warriors kicking a couple field goals and the Monarchs scoring just one touchdown in the 31-14 SB-L win.
Looking to tonight’s game with ELC, Zyzda sees a team with good size that plays tough.
“They had some breakdowns with the turnovers, but that’s been the same way with us this year,” he said. “The challenge is driving two hours plus and come out fighting. I expect it to be a good game.”
The Warriors’ offense has generated only seven touchdowns this season, but the defense has scored five times-four off fumble recoveries.
“Their defense has made a lot of big plays for them and they have good special teams,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel.
The Warriors kicker, Dustin Hiserote, has made four of five field goals with the longest at 42 yards.
“Any time they get inside the 30, they’re a threat to put up some points,” said Fandel.
The ELC coach said he’s impressed with the SB-L running back and the visitors “have great receivers that go up and get the ball.”
The Warriors leading rusher is Jake Wimmer, who had 303 yards on 52 carries. Mike Morey has 191 yards on 63 carries.
SB-L also takes its shots through the air with two quarterbacks combining for 70 attempts with 36 completions. However, the Warriors have just two receiving touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions.
“I expect it to be a tight ball game,” said Fandel. “If we can stay away from the turnovers and get some good field position, we can be competitive.”
About last week’s loss to Spencer, Fandel said the Midgets need to make some of their own breaks.
“Offensively or defensively, we need someone to step up and get the momentum on our side,” he said.
ELC’s stat leader is quarterback Alex Arends, who had 314 yards rushing on 60 carries with three touchdowns. He also is 37 of 77 passing for 497 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
Jake Lange has 203 yards on 42 carries with two touchdowns. Marcus Christensen has 200 yards on 49 carries with four touchdowns.
Spencer Johnson is the team’s leading receiver with 13 catches for 216 yards and one touchdown.
Nate Jensen is next with 65 yards on seven receptions, Lange has six receptions for 56 yards, Jeremy Hunt has five receptions for 54 yards and Jacob Perkins has two catches for 47 yards.