Herald Staff Report
Central DeWitt football coach Mike Miller is preparing for his fourth game at the helm of the Sabers.
Central DeWitt (1-2, 1-0 Class 3A District 6) plays host to Benton Community (0-3, 0-1) on Friday for the Sabers' homecoming. It is the Clinton Herald’s featured Friday game.
"I think the kids are transitioning very well into the things we wanted to establish," Miller said. "We had a difficult schedule, but the kids kept battling. We've had some growing pains, and we're still in the process. We're ironing some things out."
After dropping its first two games, Central DeWitt is coming off a win in its district opener over rival Maquoketa.
"Things came together," Miller said of the win. "We've learned a lot. We had a good defensive effort. The defense responded when we needed them to, which they didn't in Week 1 or 2. We're improving the areas we need to."
Miller said the Sabers needed the win over Maquoketa.
"Starting 0-2 was very discouraging," he said. "That win is going to help us. We had to look beyond our record. Maquoketa was one of the favorites to win the district. It was good to see the kids respond. I was very pleased. Offensively, we did a nice job, but it was the defense that carried us to a victory."
Homecoming week can offer its on set of challenges.
"There are a whole bunch of different activities," Miller said. "We encourage our kids to be involved, but we need to focus on the task at hand. Actually, this has probably been one of the best weeks of practice. I think we'll go out and execute Friday and win."
Miller said Benton's 0-3 record wasn't indicative of what it could do.
"They're a very physical team, especially on the offensive and defensive lines," he said. "Benton runs multiple formations — under center, trips, shotgun — a lot of things. One thing we've struggled with is to get aligned properly and recognize formations. Last week, we did a good job of improving on that. Friday, it'll be important to get the guys aligned. If we do that, I feel the guys will execute at a high level."
Offensively, the emphasis this week is on ball security.
"We've had way too many turnovers, and they were very untimely," Miller said. "We lost the ball five or six times in the opponent's territory. We need to give ourselves an opportunity to punch it in."
Miller also said coverage in special teams was an area of focus in practice this week.
"The kids have taken pride in improving," Miller said. "This week is no different."