Illnesses take toll on Midgets
ESTHERVILLE – For Estherville Lincoln Central, tonight’s matchup against Storm Lake looks like a perfect opportunity to pick up that first district win.
The Midgets (1-6, 0-5) and the Tornadoes (1-6, 1-4) are both starting up from the bottom of Class 3A, District 1 and are trying to finish their seasons out on a high note.
However, ELC has been hit hard by illness in the past week as they prepared for the high-flying passing attack of Storm Lake.
Bodies to simulate the Tornado offense were hard to come by for ELC coach Chuck Fandel.
“We had [assistant coach Ryan] Rezac playing quarterback for our scout team this week,” he said. “It’s been a tough week for us, not knowing who will be okay to play.”
It’s no secret that the Storm Lake offense is centered around the quick passing game, and they have the athletes to be succesful according to Fandel.
“They have great athletes over there,” he said. “Of course they got [Bobby} Brown and [Michael] McCabe, a lot of the same kids from their 2009 State baseball team are at the skill positions.”
The Midgets will need to do multiple things to slow down the Tornado attack.
“First off, we’ve got to be able to run the football,” said Fandel. “We’ve got to keep their offense of the field. When they get the ball we have to generate a pass rush and on special teams we have to make them drive the length of the field.”
“And we’ve got to be able to score some points. We’ve got to be able to get touchdowns. If you can score three or four times in this league, you’ve got a pretty good shot at winning.”
Storm Lake has had a rough season to say the least. Last year they only had five juniors on a team that went 1-8 on the year and this season they have 15 seniors many of which haven’t played football before.
One of the few seniors who has a lot of playing experience is quarterback Bobby Brown.
Brown has completed 104-of-188 passes for 1,058 yards and four touchdowns. He also leads the team in rushing attempts with 94, for 146 yards and six touchdowns.
“In the history of our program, we usually are a quarterback-oriented offense,” said Storm Lake coach Bill McCabe. “He’s going to be the guy with the ball in his hands and we like what we have in our quarterback.”
The offenses of ELC and Storm Lake couldn’t be more different as McCabe sees it.
“Estherville is a powerful team. They like to run the ball off-tackle and they come right at you on both sides of the ball. We’re going to have to stop their run game but we also have to be careful about the pass because they’ve got a good quarterback as well.”
Having two teams so evenly matched, it should be a good one according to McCabe.
“Both of our records are very similar so I think both teams think they have a chance at a win. It should be a close game, highly contested and we’re excited to play them.”
Key to the game:
Stop Bobby Brown.
The Storm Lake senior quarterback is the focal point of the Tornado offense, accounting for 74 percent of the their plays.
If ELC’s defense can hit Brown early and often, they have a terrific shot at getting their first district win.