(Photo by Michael Fischer)
While Spencer gained 344 yards on the ground by the end of the game against Emmetsburg (ranked No. 2 in 1A), its four lost fumbles and interception on the first six possessions resulted in an insurmountable 32-0 halftime deficit. Physical play was a point of emphasis after the game and this week for head coach Jim Tighe and the Tigers.
"We always stress being physical in practice. As we get more confidence, the better that gets," Tighe said. "Some guys played physical, but we have some other guys who can do better."
Job No. 1 for the Tigers defense Friday night will be to contain Sheldon's senior quarterback Chris Balster. In last week's win over Sioux Central, Balster completed 3-of-14 passes for three touchdowns and 104 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Oostra.
Balster also carried the ball 14 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns, including a 66-yard touchdown run. Hunter McDonald gained 132 yards on just eight carries and a touchdown. While big plays were prevalent for the Orabs offense last week, Sioux Central gained 361 rushing yards and passed for 57 more.
"We have to keep their quarterback in check. He can break an 80-yarder at any time and he throws the ball very well, too," Tighe said. "We just need to come out and execute like we did last week without the turnovers. And we need to block better on the perimeter."
Spencer QB Matt Finnern led the Tigers with 128 yards on 21 carries last week. Senior running back Blake Altenhofen broke a 60-yard TD run for the Tigers' first score of the season and finished with 85 yards.
This game will be a 7 p.m. kickoff in Sheldon.
QB Matt Finnern - 21 rush, 128 yds, 1 TD
RB Blake Altenhofen - 5 rush, 78 yds, 1 TD
QB Chris Balster - 3-14, 104 yds, 3 TD. 14 rush, 173 yds, 2 TDs
RB Hunter McDonald - 8 rush, 132 yds, 1 TD
Last week: Sioux Central couldn't contain Sheldon in a 42-32 loss at home. Alta-Aurelia scored just one touchdown in a 21-8 loss at Pocahontas Area.
Notable performers from Week 1:
SIOUX CENTRAL: Devin Tripp, soph. -- 43 rush, 258 yds, 3 TD. Nathan Leer, 10 rush, 50 yds, 1 TD. Dallas Heuton, 2 rec. 44 yds, 1 TD. ALTA-AURELIA: Joe Napierala, 10-19, 102 yds. Garrett VanHouten, Alta, 14 rush, 79 yds. Alex Stephan, Alta, 9 rush, 37 yds, 1 TD.
Sioux Central coach Brandon Goodchild: "They're going to be tough. They're a physical team and have a couple good athletes. Our focus has been on being able to stop the big play. That hurt us against Sheldon. ... The guys up front have been doing a good job but we've got to polish some things up a little bit and get better in pass protection."
Last week: North Iowa routed the Mavericks, 46-0, in Buffalo Center in both schools' first 8-man game. C-W-L lost to Harris-Lake Park at home, 57-14, and gave up over 50 points for the second consecutive week.
Notes: CC-E is looking to snap an 11-game losing streak, which dates back to the final game of the 2010 season. C-W-L lost every game last year as well, except for getting credit for a victory over Ruthven-Ayrshire due to forfeit.
CC-E coach Austin Davis: "We feel like we have a good chance to win this game. Offensively, we should run the ball pretty well on them, and looking at their last two games giving up over 50 points, we should be able to put up some points. ... We'll have to contain their running back. He was able to get some big runs with cut-backs last week so our backside can't over-pursue."
Last week: Okoboji was overmatched and lost handily to Spirit Lake, 56-14. Sibley-Ocheyedan lost big to H-M-S, 43-0.
Stats from Week 1: Okoboji QB Jordan Hanna - 11-17, 63 yds, 3 INT; 6 rush, 39 yds, 1 TD.
Last week: GTRA couldn't keep up with M-M-C in a 48-12 loss. Remsen-Union fell to West Bend-Mallard, 28-14.
Notes: GTRA rushed for 136 yards and two TDs last week, including 62 by Carter Williamson on 11 attempts. Remsen-Union's Nick Braun gained 69 yards on the ground and Cam Kuchel completed 7-of-20 passes for 94 yards.