The Camanche football team just wants to do what it’s done for the past nine wins.
The Indians just want to take care of business.
“I don’t think our kids are going to be awestruck or anything like that,” Indians coach Dustin Coit said. “Obviously we’re happy to be here, but you don’t want to just show up and play Saturday and then go home and not come back. Hopefully we’re able to take care of business Saturday and come back next Friday for the championship.”
The Indians (9-1) face Central Lyon-George Little Rock (10-0) in a Class 2A Semifinal at 4 p.m. Saturday at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
The winner of that game will go on to play the winner of Waukon and Prairie City-Monroe, who will face each other in a semifinal following the Camanche game.
“We’re looking forward to a trip to the dome and playing there. No Camanche team has ever done that,” Coit said. “We’re going to have to be ready to go — Central Lyon is pretty good. They’ve got a really good quarterback who can run it and throw it. The line is physical, they get off the ball, come at you. They have a pretty solid defense, too.
“Obviously, this time of year, everybody is good. They’re going to come at us and we’re going to have to match them.”
Central Lyon High School is 397 miles away from Camanche and it will be the first meeting between the Lions and the Indians.
The Lions, like Camanche, had a first-round bye in the playoffs and then hosted each of their playoff games leading up to this week. Central Lyon has defeated Unity Christian, Estherville Lincoln Central and West Lyon in the playoffs. In the regular season, the Lions posted four shutout wins and had only one game that was decided by less than three possessions.
Saturday will be the first time since Oct. 9 since Central Lyon has played a non-home game, and it will be the first time since Sept. 25 for the Indians.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve been on the road, but I think our kids will be fine,” Coit said. “We all know what’s at stake and we’ve had a good mindset going into games here lately, so I don’t see why we wouldn’t have that same mindset going into this one.”
Central Lyon is led by sophomore quarterback Zach Lutmer, who leads the team in passing (52-of-94, 965 yards, seven touchdowns, three interceptions), rushing (158 carries, 1,347 yards, 20 TDs) and interceptions (four interceptions, two returned for TDs).
“We’ve got to make sure we’re eliminating the big plays from their quarterback,” Coit said. “He’s their man. We’ve got to make sure we’re bottling him up, not letting him break loose. They’ve also got pretty good running backs — they’ve got two running backs (Kalen Meyer, Kayden Van Berkum) they use quite a bit.”
The Indians’ defense will hope to force Lutmer, who is more of a runner, into passing situations so the likes of linebacker Adam Dunlap (four interceptions), Tucker Dickherber (four interceptions), Logan Shaw (two interceptions) and the rest of the Indians secondary can challenge him in the pass game.
“They can match up with anybody, especially speed-wise,” Coit said of the secondary. “It comes down to, the guys are in the spots they need to be in and when they’re in those right spots, they’re making plays for us. Tucker Dickherber’s really good back there at safety, he’s really good at reading the quarterback. Most of the time, he’s in the right spot. He’s always around the ball — the ball seems to find him because he’s in the right place.”
The Lion defense will have their hands full trying to contain area-leading rusher Cade Everson (196 carries, 1,490 yards, 18 TDs). Quarterback Michael Delzell has had a deft hand leading the Indians’ offense this postseason, rebounding after negative plays and making crucial throws late in games.
“He’s done a great job,” Coit said. “The last couple weeks, he may have started off a little slow, might’ve been some nerves, but he doesn’t let a negative play affect the way he’s going to play the rest of the game. He’s able to flush it pretty quick. He’s just a confident kid. He’s coachable, he’s knowledgeable and he’s like the extension of a coach on the field. He’s always coming off the field with some suggestions and how he thinks the defense is lining up and what he thinks is going to be open. I’m the type of coach that, if he sees something on the field and he wants to run it, I’ll let him run it.
“We give him free rein to audible plays if he sees something he likes better. He keeps making plays, too. He puts the ball on the money and he’s playing really well right now.”