Week 8 Football Preview Victory necessary for a winning season for ELC
Estherville Lincoln Central looks to finish the season strong, but will need to win out to finish third in Class 2A District 1.
The challenge this week is Cherokee.
The Braves (3-4 overall, 3-2 in district play) are coming off a tough 20-18 loss to Central Lyon/George Little Rock.
A win by the Midgets would put both teams at 3-3 in district play while Sioux Center, also 3-2 in district play, takes on district leader Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley this week.
ELC coach Andy Umthun knows the Midgets’ task won’t be easy.
“Their defensive line is one of the better ones around,” he said. “They stopped Sioux Center’s run game and that’s why they beat them (33-19 in Week 4).
“They have a big line with a lot of them playing both ways,” said Umthun. “We hope to take advantage of that.”
ELC’s defense will also have to contend with the Braves’ balanced offense.
Quarterback Matt Pitts is 93-of-188 passing for 1,272 yards and 13 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also has 217 rushing yards on 78 carries with four touchdowns. His top receiver is Trey Valentin (31 catches for 532 yards and eight touchdowns). Also Mason Timerman has 27 catches for 287 yards and two touchdowns and Michael Herwig has 243 yards and three touchdowns on 17 catches.
“Their quarterback makes a lot of big plays,” said Umthun. “They also have some big receivers. I think their shortest receiver is 6-1.”
The ELC coach said the key to win is to prevent Cherokee’s big plays on offense and special teams.
“They’ve returned a couple kickoffs and have had some big plays in the pasting game,” Umthun said. “We need to stop their run and force them to pass and I think we’ll be in great shape.”
The coach said he also wants to see ELC continue to work on the little things.
“We also need to learn how to close out games and not let other teams hang around,” Umthun said. “We’ve done a better job the last couple weeks.”
Meanwhile, Cherokee will have to try to stop an ELC offense that has been able to move the ball well the last couple times.
Quarterback Evan Olesen now has 1,611 passing yards and evened up his touchdowns and interceptions at 13-13. He is 119-of-198 passing for a 60 percent completion rate.
Trey Jacobson continues to be his top receiver with 32 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns while Bennett Loock is close behind with 29 catches for 495 yards and five touchdowns. Jacob Bosch also has 20 catches for 254 yards and a touchdown while Jacob Heinrichs has 16 catches for 151 yards and a score and Clay Budach has 13 catches for 86 yards and a score.
Robert Sheridan leads the ground attack with 78 carries for 494 yards and 10 touchdowns while Olesen has 412 yards and four touchdowns on 81 carries and Myles McDonald has 73 carries for 327 yards and two scores.
Sheridan continues to lead the defense with 68 solo tackles and 43 assists while Jacob Bosch has 42 solo tackles and 33 assists and Trevor Shryock has 40 solo tackles and 28 assists.
Tyler Zeimen and Noah Kremer both had 47.5 tackles and Ben Lingenfelter has 45.5. Also Travis Steffans has six interceptions this season.