NEWTON — When we last left the Newton Cardinals, they were searching for answers to inconsistent play and a thumping loss at the hands of the Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs.
“Coaches and players have done some soul searching and work this week to come back ready to play this Friday against ADM,” said Ed Ergenbright, Cardinal head coach. “We know ADM pretty well and what to expect from their teams. This week is more about us taking care of us.”
Ergenbright said the Cardinals have stepped up the intensity in practices with more “No. 1 on No. 1” — No. 1 offense against No. 1 defense — work. He said no one was happy with the way things went last week at DCG and the inconsistent play that has plagued the Cardinals this season.
He said Newton has played Adel DeSoto Minburn every season since entering Class 3A competition. ADM is 4-2 overall and stand 3-1 in 3A, District 1. The Cardinals are 2-4 overall and 1-3 in 3A, District 4.
Kickoff for the non-district contest is 7:30 p.m. at H.A. Lynn Stadium. The freshman squads play at 4:45 p.m.
“ADM is much like Grinnell with a spread offense. They have a quality running back (Grant Goeden) who has had some big games and a very good quarterback (Kolby Whisner). They always play rock solid defense. They are very athletic and run to the ball,” Ergenbright said.
Senior running back Grant Goeden has 624 yards on 97 carries and nine touchdowns for the Tigers this season. Kolby Whisner, senior quarterback, has thrown for 1,353 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions, going 86-of-164.
Goeden has 21 catches for 247 yards while senior wide receiver Tate Jensen has 34 catches for 555 yards.
“We know we can move the football on offense, but our nemeis has been not being consistent. We’ve started games with high level energy on both sides of the ball then it drops off,” Ergenbright said. “When we have the energy level high and are focused we can play with anyone. We’ve seen that this year.”
That’s what the focus has been this week — achieving and keeping the intensity level and focus for four quarters of football, he said.
Injuries are still hampering the Cardinals. Ergenbright said several starters playing through injury, Tristan Peters, a starting running back, has been dealing with a turf toe situation, but injured his thumb in last Friday’s game.
Ergenbright said Peters has had problems handling the football with the thumb injury. Joseph Banfield is slotted to see more playing time against ADM. Also starting defensive back Mike McCormick will miss his second game with injuries to an ankle and to his shoulder. Tyler Wood, Newton starting quarterback, will probably see time in the defensive backfield.