baylor-crigger

Camanche quarterback Baylor Crigger (5) throws the ball during the first quarter of Friday night’s Battle of the Blue game against Northeast at Camanche High School.

Of our area football teams, only a few saw themselves in the W column after Week 1. Many are looking for an answer as Week 2 approaches. Here’s a look at some of the upcoming matchups.

CLINTON

Clinton had a tough start to their 2018 campaign, taking on Western Dubuque. In their 45-7 loss, they were dominated defensively.

“We were able to come up with a great play, an interception, to keep the score close,” head coach Jon Wauford said. “We drove the ball pretty well in first half and got it down in the red zone a couple times and couldn’t come away with points. I thought for the most of the night they were the much better football team.”

Kalvin Godette, the River Kings starting QB, threw 13-25 which equaled 124 yards. Wauford wants to see a few more of those go through in order to get the offense going.

“If we’re going to pass the ball 25 times a game, which we would like to, you have to complete the pass 60 percent of the time to make that offense go,” Wauford said. “We were just a little over 52 percent, so there’s just a handful of passes there that we didn’t execute the way we needed to that will make a big difference for us in the game.”

Clinton will have their home opener this Friday, taking on MAC opponent Davenport West. West opened their season with a shutout win over United Township.

They will be watching West quarterback Zach Trevino, who threw for 174 yards and rushed for another 84 last week. Running back Camren Carter added another 132 yards on the run.

Rushing was where Clinton struggled defensively against Western Dubuque, that’s where Wauford is hoping for the biggest improvements from his team.

“We have to stop the run. You can’t win games consistently if you can’t stop the run and we weren’t able to do that, especially in the second half. It’s got to start there.”

CAMANCHE

Camanche was one of the few area teams to come out of Week 1 with an undefeated record, and for them that’s a bit new.

“It was really nice,” head coach Dustin Coit said. “It was the first time since 2011 since a Camanche team started off 1-0 and the first home win in four years. It felt really good to get off to a good start.”

Their strong point was senior Baylor Crigger, who threw for 171 yards.

“He was really good Friday,” Coit said. “He’s just a tough kid who put in a lot of time in the summer and he played really well for us.”

That wasn’t it though. Crigger, along with Raul Esparza, Eric Campie, Cam Soenksen and Jordan Lawrence added a strong rushing game to the mix to help them to their Week 1 win over Northeast.

“We ran for 279 yards as a team, and we spread it out pretty good,” Coit said. “We thought passing was our strong point, but we were able to run the ball.”

The Indians move on to Bellevue this week. Bellevue also won last Friday night. Quarterback Lucas Tennant threw for nearly 200 yards. What they really have to watch is running back Hunter Clasen, who rushed for 256 yards last week, scoring five times.

“It’s kind of a different mindset. Last week we were focused on stopping the pass against Northeast because of their athletes,” Coit said. “But this week we have to stop the run. If we can, we’ll be in good shape.”

FULTON

Fulton head coach Patrick Lower saw a lot of things in Week 1 that he liked, but wants to see some improvement when they go to Monmouth this week.

Fulton lost to St. Bede 27-20, losing hold in the second half. This week, they went back to a lot of fundamentals and focused on fine tuning the young team.

“We basically focused on ourselves,” Lower said about the week of practice. “We don’t care who our opponent is or what they do, we’re worried about ourselves and understanding what we’re supposed to do.

“We did a good job of getting back to basics this week and helping these kids understanding where they’re supposed to be and when.”

Lower saw a lot of defensive lapses, which is says is both a symptom of a young team and it being early in the season.

“We really concentrated on it and showed a lot of film” Lower said. “The key is that they spit it back out to us and they have so far.”

The Steamers saw a fairly strong rushing game, but only got 60 years from their passing. Quarterback Max Lemke is a capable athlete, and Lower accredits the lower numbers to shaking off the rust.

“We try to stay as balanced as possible,” Lower said. “We didn’t get as much in the passing game as we would have liked to. Our protection was good, we had time.

“I think Max would tell you he was kind of aiming the ball and throwing it to not throw an interception instead of throwing it and delivering it like he can. With more experience and being out there more, he’ll only improve.”

Monmouth-Roseville also lost in Week 1, only moving 156 yards total on offense.

With a large group of sophomores and juniors, it’s going to be a long season. What Lower wants to see if play stay even throughout the game.

“We really showed a lot of good things at times, we just didn’t have the consistency and that’s what we’re looking for.”

NORTHEAST

Northeast did not start the season on a high note, recording a 34-18 loss to Camanche on the road. Head coach Jerad Block says it was eye opening for his team.

“We learned that we were not in as good of shape as we thought and we need to play with better discipline.

“There were a couple of times we had some kids take a play off and they let some of their teammates down. We really focused on that this week.”

Quarterback Nate Lange threw for 273 yards in the that game, with Dawson Stoll being his main receiver. Dakota Stevenson also rushed for 112 yards.

They stay on the road this week, traveling to Wilton. After taking on quarterback Baylor Crigger in Camanche, they will continue to have to try to stop a powerful quarterback in Wilton’s Jerome Mays.

“Their quarterback is phenomenal—he ran for over 100 yards and can throw for over 200 a game,” Block said. “They also have a really good receiver he looks at every time. We try to make sure their best athlete doesn’t beat us, so we’ve been focusing on him.”

“It was a good Week 1 to Week 2. It’s nice when you have similar offenses in back-to-back weeks.”

MORRISON

Morrison’s first year head coach Ryan Oetting had a nice start to his season.

“It’s pretty nice way to start your career,” Oetting said about the Mustangs’ first win over Sherrard. “I owe that to our kids and our coaching staff for three weeks of preparation.”

Oetting said that his team was caught off guard a little bit against Sherrard, seeing more of a passing game than they expected. However, that will help them against Hall High School, who uses the pass quite a bit.

“They like to spread us out and throw the ball, which is similar to what Sherrard did last week,” Oetting said. “Hopefully that will give us a bit of an advantage working against it. You have to be ready to go in our conference every week, any team can beat anyone.”