By Jon Gremmels
Herald Sports Editor
Coming off their first district victory, the Camanche Indians can start to think about the Iowa high school football playoffs.
Three weeks remain in the season, and coach Steve Dougherty said the Indians (2-4 overall) would need three district wins for a chance at the postseason. The problem they face is that of their final two district opponents are teams ahead of them in the Class 2A District 4 standings. On the flip side, that could be a plus, since any win from here on out would hurt another team’s chances.
The other positive is both district games are at home. The first is Friday night against Cascade (4-2, 3-0 district), followed by Senior Night against Mount Vernon (3-3, 2-2).
“If we can get wins with those, we’ll be OK,” Dougherty said.
Cascade will pose a strong challenge this week.
“They’re off to a strong start, 3-0 in a district in which in my opinion is one of the most talented districts in the state,” Dougherty said. “It looks like we’ve got our hands full.”
Cascade has overcome the loss of standout running back Alec Hoffman in the third game of the season. The Cougars’ response has been impressive, though.
“They had a key player go down, and they have gone primarily through the air since then,” Dougherty said. “Their running game still is not bad, though, and that’s a tribute to their overall offensive scheme.”
Quarterback Timmie Kleitsch has completed 81 of 157 passes for 1,324 yards this fall. He has thrown 16 touchdown passes but also has nine interceptions. The Camanche defense has the same number of interceptions.
“Basically, our defense is a reaction style,” Dougherty said. “If we do things correctly, good things will happen.”
Camanche’s offense has been more diverse — the Indians have run for 650 yards and passed for 553 — and quarterback Cody Mensinger has been improving each week.
“It’s been really nice to see him improve,” Dougherty said. “He’s gotten his completion percentage to about 50 percent, he sees the field well and is extremely coachable. It’s the kind of leadership we have to have.”
Especially if they want to make a run to the postseason.