The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

September 12, 2013

Fulton looking to end 9-year skid vs. Morrison

FULTON, Ill. -- Amateur sports is rife with rivalry games, trophies and various traveling inanimate objects. Thus, the Wooden Shoe is up for grabs between Morrison and Fulton every fall.

Named for the region’s rich Dutch heritage, the annual Wooden Shoe Bowl was established by the 1977 Morrison High football program as a way of fueling the local rivalry. And it’s the Mustangs who have walked away with the sacred clog lately.

The last time the Steamers got the best of Morrison was in 2003 behind a 33-8 win, and overall, the Mustangs own the head-to-head advantage in the bowl at 26-10. A Fulton loss to them on Friday would mark 10 straight seasons without the shoe.

Steamers coach Patrick Lower acknowledged the rivalry, but said two weeks into the football season there’s an even bigger trophy on the line -- that of the Three Rivers Conference championship.

“We don’t like using the words ‘must win’ because each game is important in itself. Every week is important,” Lower, a seventh year head coach, said. “It would definitely be a big win. Not only is it against a big rival, but it gets us closer to that magic number we need to make it into the playoffs. Nobody has really jumped out of the pack in our conference, so we feel we’re in just as good a spot as anyone.

“I don’t feel like nine losses in a row has entered our minds,” he added. “Our focus is on winning our next game and it happens to be against Morrison.”

Morrison coach Cory Bielema also prefers to look at the bigger picture.

“As far as 10 wins in a row, I haven’t kept track of that,” he said. “That’d be one we’d look to downplay. We don’t get any bonus points for winning 10 in a row (against Fulton). We’ll approach it from that angle. We try to down play it a little bit to the degree that it doesn’t become a distraction.”

Both teams are 1-1 entering the matchup. Fulton took out Orion in Week 1, 42-20, before falling to Kewanee, 32-14. The Mustangs looked as impressive behind their 46-0 win over Princeton as they did dismal in a 50-0 shutout loss to Orion.

“We were just beat on every aspect -- under prepared, under motivated,” Bielema said. “Orion came out with a fire and a purpose that I’d translate to being similar to a playoff type atmosphere.”

He added the Mustangs were dealing with injuries to their starting center and running back, forcing them to play people out of position against the Chargers.

Meanwhile the Steamers faced a major setback during its Week 2 loss. Starting quarterback Ethan Jones went down in the first quarter with an ankle injury, forcing Lower to use untested backup David Kuehl. Fulton unraveled with five turnovers in the loss.

“David Kuehl didn’t have many reps,” Lower said. “It’s small school football and your backups don’t get many reps. He’s also in our backfield so he’s getting useful reps there.”

The status on Jones is uncertain. Lower said he suffered a sprained ankle and the staff is closely monitoring the injury. Meanwhile Kuehl is being prepped as a starter in case Jones is unavailable.

With Fulton’s win over Orion, the Steamers appear to have the slight edge rolling into Morrison. Then again, the TRC North Division is a tough read: five teams -- Morrison, Fulton, Sterling Newman, Erie-Prophetstown and Bureau Valley -- are tied for first in the conference at 1-1.

In other words, there’s a lot more riding on Friday night than the Wooden Shoe.

“It’s going to have to be a team effort,” Bielema said. “When we played well against Princeton, I’d have a hard time looking at the film and finding one player that stood out. ... In the loss to Orion, again, it was a team effort.”

For Lower: “You can say this about a lot of rivalry games: when you’ve got two teams that know each other this well you can throw the records out. It doesn’t matter who should be favored.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Friday at Morrison.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Evers: For love of the green CLINTON - Conner Evers calls The Oaks Golf Course his home. There isn't a day where Evers won't visit the golf course on the city's west side. "I spend a lot of time here," Evers said with a laugh. "This is my second home. I love golf, and there's no

    April 24, 2014

  • LumberKings score bizarre run CLINTON -- Rain was the only thing that could have saved the Clinton LumberKings from losing Wednesday to Quad Cities 7-1. The run that the LumberKings got, however, came on a bizarre play. In the bottom of the first inning, Tyler O'Neill singled o

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 1B-photo, Ladehoff signs CCC right for Ladehoff DEWITT - Joe Shovlain says Clinton Community College has a great selling point: opportunity. For Central DeWitt senior Ellie Ladehoff, there was another key factor in her decision to attend the school. Ladehoff, who joined 11 of her classmates on sta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Blackhawks even series CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane had his shot all along. Same for his dazzling puck-handling skills and the vision that sees the plays before they happen. What Kane got back on Wednesday night was his legs, and the result was a familiar one. Kane scored his s

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 1B-Photo, Drake story Youngsters take on oval

    CLINTON -- One of the biggest track meets in the nation begins today, and the youngsters will kick off the event at Drake University in Des Moines. The high school portion of the Drake Relays begins at 3 p.m. with the field events, and Clinton senior

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Semien hits a late slam DETROIT (AP) -- On the night he became the franchise's career leader in total bases, Paul Konerko liked what he saw from some of the younger Chicago White Sox. Marcus Semien's seventh-inning grand slam lifted the White Sox over the Detroit Tigers 6-4

    April 24, 2014

  • Hammel, Olt lead Cubs past D'backs CHICAGO (AP) -- Jason Hammel is certain the Chicago Cubs are better than their record so far. Hammel pitched seven strong innings, Mike Olt hit a three-run home run and Nate Schierholtz drove in a pair of early runs to lead the Cubs to a 9-2 victory

    April 23, 2014

  • Schreiber wins dual; Coppess 2nd at tri BETTENDORF -- To be the best, you have to beat the best. Brittany Coppess came close to doing that Tuesday at Hidden Hills Golf Course in a triangular meet between North Scott, Clinton and Pleasant Valley. Coppess finished with a nine-hole 42, 5 over

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 1B-photo, ethan jones Jones has eyes set on prize FULTON, Ill. -- Ethan Jones has all the confidence that he can become the Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year in baseball. "I just need to work hard, show up everyday and just play the best that I can every game so I can help my team win," Jo

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

High School Sports