COLFAX — The schedule doesn’t get any easier this Friday, when the Colfax-Mingo Tigerhawks’ football team heads to Mount Ayr to take on one of the toughest Class 2A teams in the state.
Mount Ayr quarterback Jacob Sobotka will be a difficult test for the young Tigerhawk defense. The all-district passer and rusher for the Raiders is an obstacle that C-M coach Jeff Lietz is not entirely all that eager to solve.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us,” he said. “He’s really a horse. He’s going to run the ball well and come right at us.”
Lietz has a gameplan in mind for the Raiders’ offense, and he hopes to turn them into more of a one-dimensional threat.
“We know they’re going to try to run,” he said. “We’ve got to try to get some run blitzes going at them, blitz the gaps. We need to get them more into a passing offense, which is where I feel like we can force them into some mistakes.”
Contrary to what Lietz has been running in the first three games, he needs his offense to keep the Raiders’ scoring unit off the field. The Tigerhawks will somewhat abandon their fast-paced, no-huddle scheme and get into more time-consuming drives.
“We need to try to slow the game down,” Lietz said. “Our best bet is to keep their offense of the field. So, we’re going to do less no-huddle stuff and try to establish some other parts of our offense. We have a few wrinkles that we’re looking to throw in there also.”
After what had been a very hot start to the 2013 season,The Tigerhawks were dealt a tough hand to start district play.
The Bulldogs came into Colfax carrying with them plenty of senior experience to counteract the youth of the Tigerhawks, and according to Lietz, that was the main deciding factor in their defeat of C-M. Van Meter came away with a 67-19 victory on the road.
Things did not go right from the opening kickoff for the Tigerhawks, as Van Meter sophomore Grant Gordon ran it back 80 yards for a very quick touchdown. The Tigerhawks proceeded to turn the ball over to the Bulldogs, who capitalized by punching it in yet again.
Down 14-0 with the ball on their own 36-yard line, sophomore quarterback Jared Myers connected on a strike to junior receiver Sam Smith that went all the way for the score, but the play was nullified due to offsetting penalties. The Tigerhawks would later punt.
Van Meter would drive the ball down for another touchdown after a quarterback draw by senior Brandon Brittain. On the next Colfax-Mingo possession, the Tigerhawks were pushed back to their own end zone. On fourth down, the ball was snapped high, forcing the punter to dive on the football at around the five-yard line. Brittain would punch that in to put Van Meter ahead, 27-0.
“Things just went badly for us from the start,” Lietz said. “They had that quick kickoff on us, and when you get down big early with an inexperienced team, it’s tough for them to kind of pull themselves up by their bootstraps and not dig into a deeper hole. It was just hard for our guys to recover.
The Tigerhawks would punch in a touchdown on an 18-yard pass over the middle to sophomore Colun Lourens, but that would be the extent of the first half scoring for C-M, and Van Meter would continue to pile on points.
“They were just the better team. Our attitude has got to be just for the guys to keep their heads up and get rid of the loss,” Lietz said. “We can’t dwell on it, just move on.”
Myers was the leading rusher in the game for C-M with 74 yards on 16 carries. He was also 11-for-27 throwing the football for 89 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Simpson had two carries for 70 yards. Jake Lietz carried the ball four times for 11 yards. Smith had eight yards on three carries.
Lietz led the Tigerhawks with 25 yards receiving on three catches. Blake Summy had four catches for 23 yards. Smith had two catches for 21 yards. Lourens had the aforementioned 18-yard touchdown as his only reception.
Lietz led the Tigwehawks’ defense with 11 tackles. Smith and Nate Smith each had nine tackles. Myers picked up six tackles from his defensive back position. Jake Buehrer had five tackles. Chris Warner, Time Blood, Kyle Breen and Clayton Brown had four tackles apiece.
Sam Smith had an interception. Lourens and Warner each recovered fumbles for C-M.