Another week of October football.
A long season (depending who you ask) has given way to the final month of the high school football season, as area programs are left with just two final games in the 2018 campaign.
Week 8 is not expected to be smooth sailing for the likes of Camanche, Northeast, Fulton and Morrison, whose opponents this week sport a combined record of 22-6.
West Liberty (4-3) at Camanche (3-4)
The Camanche High School football is more than ready to return to its home soil this week, as last Friday’s 53-21 loss to Mount Vernon dropped the Indians to an 0-4 record on the road this season.
Luckily, the Indians are set to host district opponents in the final two games of the campaign.
“We always like to be home, obviously, and it has been good to us so far,” Coit said. “It is nice to have the last two weeks at home.”
Sitting at 3-4, an above-.500 closing record isn’t out of the picture for Camanche, but it will have its work cut out for them against a talented West Liberty team..
West Liberty is led by its quarterback Seth Feldman, who offers a dual-threat talent as the team’s leading passer and rusher. The Bears also tout lineman Spencer Daufeldt, who stands 6-1 and 275 pounds and has been spotted on the University of Iowa sidelines this season.
“[Daufeldt] is strong and he can move... he will be a handful Friday night,” Coit said. “[Feldman] is a three-year starter and does a lot for them so we have to make sure we stop him.”
Camanche and West Liberty are set for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Fulton (4-3) at Newman (6-1)
The Steamers roll into Week 7 winners of four of their last five games, but their resurgence after a shaky start to the season will be put to the test Friday against a No.2-ranked (Class 2A) Newman.
“They are physical and their defense is fast and aggressive,” Fulton coach Patrick Lower. “They are a very good, physical and well-disciplined team that is very hard to stop... it really doesn’t matter what year it is, it is the same kind of [talented] team every year.”
Fulton is coming off its second Saturday action of the season, defeating Riverdale 26-6 in a game that began on Friday before inclement weather forced a continuation on Saturday.
“It was interesting,” Lower said. “It really worked out well for us because we got off the field on Friday before the rain even hit... we even started watching the tape of the game during the delay [on Friday] and it gave us a lot of time to make adjustments.”
The win was crucial for Lower’s bunch, as it pulled the Steamers within a single victory of qualifying for playoff contention.
“We are feeling pretty good,” Lower said. “Usually we don’t talk about playoffs until it is a reality, but with this young groups, we let them know what is at stake in the last one-third of the season.”
Fulton and Newman are set for a 5:30 kickoff Friday night at FHS.
Northeast (0-7) at Bellevue (7-0)
After a rain-plagued matchup with West Branch ended late in the first quarter, Northeast will have to pick up the pieces before facing yet another impressive team this week.
The Rebels will make the trip to Bellevue on Friday to take on an undefeated Bellevue team that harbors a host of senior playmakers on both sides of scrimmage.
Northeast coach Jerad Block knows it will be a tough competition.
“They are a tough, physical team,” Block said. “We just have to do the best we can to try to neutralize that and take advantage of what we can.”
Last week, the Rebels struggled to find a rhythm in its best attribute – the passing game – as quarterback Nate Lange managed just five completion for negative yardage in the sloppy conditions.
“Passing is our strength but we had a game plan to try and find a way around it,” Block said. “We have a ‘rain’ set of plays and we were wanting to do some things but we weren’t able to execute because the game got cancelled.”
Rockridge (5-2) at Morrison (2-5)
Anytime a team loses a senior quarterback midway through the season, it typically signals trouble on the horizon.
After Jacob Schlegel went down with a season-ending injury in a Week 5 defeat to Fulton, the Mustangs were forced to throw a sophomore quarterback into the action.
After a lopsided defeat to a talented Orion program, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for Morrion, who will host Rockridge on Friday.
But coach Ryan Oetting is just focused on his team.
“We are going to look to continue to sharpen our fundamental skills and technique and hopefully come out and give a great effort.”