Week 9 Football Preview Midgets, Dutch playing for pride in season finale
By David Swartz
Estherville Lincoln Central and MOC-Floyd Valley will both be playing for pride as the teams meet for the final regular season game in Orange City on Friday night.
The Midgets are looking to finish with a winning record after starting the season 1-4. The Dutch will looking to end their year on a high note after managing just one win this season.
“We’ve stressed the last few weeks that we want to win out,” said ELC coach Andy Umthun, whose team is now on a three-game winning streak. “We did our job last week in beating Cherokee.
“MOC-Floyd Valley has some big lineman,” he continued. “They’re 1-7, but they’ve played most games pretty close. They’re a little dangerous because their seniors are playing the final game at home and playing for pride.”
In district play, MOC-Floyd Valley lost to Sheldon by a touchdown (27-20), defeated Pocahontas by one score (20-12), and lost to Cherokee by just one score (35-27).
The last three weeks have been tougher on the Dutch as they lost to Sioux Center (34-13), Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (56-8) and Central Lyon/George-Little Rock (31-20).
In last Friday’s loss, the Lions jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead with the Dutch not scoring until late in the third quarter. Central Lyon/George-Little Rock scored early in the fourth before the Lions came back with two late scores to make the game closer than it appeared.
“They have a balanced offense and their quarterback is athletic,” said Umthun of the Dutch. “They’re similar to other teams we’ve seen the past few weeks.”
This season, quarterback Ben DeBoer is 87-of-197 for 1,141 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Jaaron Paugh is his top receiver with 32 catches for 525 yards and five touchdowns, but DeBoer had three other big targets in Kyle TeGrootenhuis (19 receptions for 334 yards and three touchdowns), Kyle Puttmann (22 catches for 262 yards and four scores) and Parker Wierda (17 catches for 167 yards and three touchdowns).
The Dutch have not had much success on the ground with just four rushing touchdowns. However, they have three players with over 70 carries. Gage Fisher has 70 carries for 247 yards, Caleb Netten has 79 carries for 228 yards and DeBoer has 712 catches for 171 yards.
ELC has three players with over 400 yards on the ground and coach Umthun would like to see his squad do a better job of sustaining drives in the final game.
“We struggled last week at times with some missed blocks or foolish penalties,” he said. “Id’ like to see the same decent effort again this week.”
ELC’s top rushers are Robert Sheridan with 565 yards and 10 touchdowns on 90 carries, Myles McDonald has 86 carries for 475 yards and four touchdowns and quarterback Evan Olesen has 94 carries for 418 yards and five touchdowns.
ELC has also thrived through the air this season with Olesen completing 121 of 209 passing (57.9 percent) for 1,630 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Trey Jacobson remains the top receiver with 33 catches for 546 yards and five touchdowns while Bennett Loock has 29 catches for 495 yards and five touchdowns, Jacob Bosch has 20 catches for 254 yards and one touchdown, Jacob Heinrichs has 16 catches for 151 yards and one touchdown and Clay Budach has 13 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
MOC-Floyd Valley’s defense is led by Conner Huss with 67 tackles including 12 for a loss with three sacks. Kyle TeGrootenhuis has 43 tackles and Zach Mouw has 36.5.
Sheridan leads ELC’s defense with 102.5 tackles including eight for a loss. Bosch has 59. Five tackles while Trevor Shryock has 68 and Derek Gebel has 50.5.