FRIDAY PREVIEW: Trojans prepare for physical Blue DemonsAlbia ranked No. 8 in Class 2A
The Albia Blue Demons began the 2014 season much like they did in 2013: winning.
A dominant 39-8 victory over Mount Ayr was the perfect way for coach Jerry Staton’s group to get the year started. The Blue Demons went 12-1 last year, and are seeking their second straight perfect regular season.
Standing in their way is a Fairfield Trojan team seeking to avenge a 47-0 home loss that Albia handed them last season. The task of beating Albia won’t be easy, considering it returns a squadron of elite Class 2A players from a team that played in the UNI-Dome just 10 months ago.
Albia is a running team that will challenge the Trojans to make defensive stops. Junior running back Carter Isley, who stands 6-foot-1-inches and weighs 220 pounds, carried the ball 30 times for 217 yards and four touchdowns in week one against Mount Ayr. Senior Kieran Judge and junior Bryce Leshen will likely get carries as well.
“They play a lot of power football and they like to run off tackle,” Fairfield head coach Mike Schenck said.
Therefore the key matchup in this game is Albia’s offensive line against Fairfield’s front seven. Hunter Gerths, a college prospect standing 6-foot-5-inches and weighing in at 265 pounds, along with 2013 All-State lineman Nick Yarkosky, will lead Albia’s front five in the trenches.
The Blue Demons are a sizeable and physical group, meaning the Trojans will need to use speed to shed blocks and make tackles. Lucky for Fairfield it has speed in abundance. Linebackers Fejon Redd and Alex Christensen will need to be at the top of their games, along with run stoppers Cody Craff and Bryce Lunsford on the line.
Game tape of Albia’s first game won’t mean much when it comes to trying to decipher the Blue Demon passing game, considering quarterback Luke Sarver is in his first season and he only completed one pass. Wet conditions and the simple fact Albia didn’t need to throw in week one means Fairfield will be getting its first look at Albia’s offense in passing situations on Friday.
“It’s kind of difficult to evaluate their passing game because of last week’s mud and rain,” Schenck said. “But I would assume they can pass effectively.”
Fairfield’s own passing game was influenced by moisture in week one as well. Trojan coaches have reiterated that a strong passing game will be key to a victory.
“I think we’re more confident and once we’re on a dry field our passing game will improve immensely,” Schenck said.
Fairfield Projected Starting Lineup
Position, Name, Class
QB Cameron Baumann So
RB Dakota Nye Sr
WR Nick Jackson Sr
WR Alex Crile Jr
WR Jordan Reid Jr
TE Landen Greiner Sr
LT Dillan Carlson Sr
LG Chris Hanson So
C Cody Craff Sr
RG Cody White Sr
RT Michael Fritz So
Position, Name, Class
DE Michael Fritz So
DT Dillan Carlson Sr
DT Cody Craff Sr
DE Bryce Lunsford Sr
OLB Zach Martin Jr
MLB Alex Christensen Sr
MLB Fejon Redd Jr
OLB Landen Greiner Sr
CB Jordan Reid Jr
CB Alex Crile Jr
FS Zane Richmond Sr
Panthers battle Savage-Cobras, Cardinal hosts first game of year
The Pekin Panthers lost three games last season, two of which were to a state championship game bound B-G-M (Brooklyn) team.
The other was at home to Sigourney-Keota on a last second botched field goal turned touchdown.
When Pekin travels Friday to play the Savage-Cobras this time around, the Panthers will be ranked No. 5 in Class A, while Sigourney-Keota is ranked No .9 in Class 1A.
The Savage-Cobras defeated B-G-M 28-14 in week one and will be searching for a victory over Pekin before having to travel to Iowa City Regina next week.
The Panthers defeated Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 32-0 last Friday. Pekin looked strong on both sides of the ball, and this battle will likely be the only test the Panthers receive until road trips to Van Buren and Lone Tree later this year.
North Mahaska @ Cardinal: The Comets seek their first win of the season after losing in the final minute to Southeast Warren last Friday.
North Mahaska won just three games last season but held its own against Lone Tree to start off 2014 in a 35-19 loss.
Montezuma @ Van Buren: The Warriors host their first game of the season against Montezuma, a playoff team from a year ago that defeated Grundy Center 28-21 in week one. Van Buren is 1-0 after a 19-13 victory over Lynnville-Sully. It looks as though the Warriors have turned a corner and they look to keep the success going before another test comes next week when they host ranked Lone Tree.
Notable Friday Games
Washington @ Marion
Fort Madison @ Burlington
Keokuk @ West Burlington
Mediapolis @ Mount Pleasant
Mid-Prairie @ Clear Creek-Amana
B-G-M, Brooklyn @ WACO, Wayland
Belle Plaine @ Lone Tree
Danville @ Central Lee
New London @ Columbus Junction
Winfield-Mount Union @ Wapello
Highland, Riverside @ Iowa Valley
Lynnville-Sully @ Pella Christian
Pleasantville @ Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont
Cascade, Western Dubuque @ Regina, Iowa City
Wilton @ Louisa-Muscatine
Lisbon @ North Cedar, Stanwood
West Branch @ West Liberty
Centerville @ Knoxville
Davis County @ Chariton
Ottumwa @ Oskaloosa
Dallas Center-Grimes @ Pella