By BILL LOOP
Things are looking up for the Iron Dukes.
After Friday’s 34-28 win over Goddard, a powerful passing attack looks on lifting the Crusaders to prominence again.
“Trevor Nance to Colin Reichenberger.”
Goddard is still hearing those words announced over the loud speaker.
Nance finished the game with 272 yards passing, Reichenberger making up 269 of those on 10 catches -- breaking the Crusader receiving yard record.
As fans celebrate revenge over those pesky Goddard Lions this weekend, Coach Tyler Ryan is in the film room.
Concordia is coming to town, and they’ll be playing angry … again.
Last Friday, the (3A) #2-ranked Beloit Trojans rolled over the (4A) Concordia Panthers, 48-0.
In 2012, also the first game of the season, Beloit hammered Concordia 50-8.
Then the following game, Concordia took their frustrations out on Wellington, 51-19.
“They physically just beat us. Their first drive took the whole first quarter. They’ll be happy getting three yards a carry. I think they look at it as taking four downs to get three yards. They are going to be satisfied with getting those numbers,” Coach Ryan said.
So what makes this year any different?
The Panthers are coming off their third consecutive eight-win season under Coach Lambert, making the playoffs last year. Entering the season they are projected #25 in 4-A, Wellington is slated at #49.
But the Crusaders aren’t looking at the numbers. That’s why they line up and play the game.
“It’s going to depend on the guys up front. I know that’s really cliché, you hear the announcers say ‘they have to win the turnover battle and the line of scrimmage.’ Well, duh. But with the style they play, I’m not so worried about them throwing the ball,” Coach Ryan said.
What a difference a year makes.
With a consistent coaching staff and players buying into the system, Coach Ryan is quietly optimistic about his team.
Page 2 of 2 - “I hope we’re a little better, a little stronger, and that will pay off.”