The win-loss results so far haven’t been what the Colfax-Mingo football team wanted when they kicked off the season in August.
The Tigerhawks enter Week 5 with just one win, but the record of teams which defeated Colfax-Mingo is 14-2. The good news for the Tigerhawks is the slate gets a lot easier in the next four weeks.
The combined record of Colfax-Mingo’s next four opponents is 3-13, and that stretch begins against winless Grand View Christian in a Class A District 5 contest at 7 p.m. Friday in Colfax.
The Tigerhawks can put together a win streak and show that they are much better than the team which finished 1-8 last year.
“It will be nice to have a stretch where we have the opportunity to get some momentum,” Colfax-Mingo coach Jeff Lietz said. “We’re a few things away from being a good football team in our eyes, and we hope to get some wins here in the coming weeks.”
Friday’s game against the Thunder (0-4) is homecoming. The week is full of activities that can be distracting off the field. Lietz doesn’t feel like that will be an issue for his squad.
“They are pretty focused,” Lietz said. “It’s not like we have done anything to overlook anyone at this point. I want them to enjoy the week, but it’s a juggling act. The most important thing about this week is the football game.
The score is the only thing from homecoming that ends up in the yearbook.”
The Thunder has not won a game and only scored seven points in their first four games. The Tigerhawks’ lone win last year was a 42-6 defeat of the Thunder.
Grand View Christian will try to run the ball and suck out the clock with running back Peyton Leever and try to keep Colfax-Mingo’s passing attack off the field.
The Thunder have only passed for 82 yards on the season. Leever has 384 yards rushing, nine catches for 77 yards and 22 1/2 tackles on defense. Quarterback Clay Ramseyer leads the team with 31 1/2 tackles and has 118 rushing yards and a touchdown.
“We’ll have to stop the run better than we have the past two weeks,” said Lietz, whose team allowed 414 yards on the ground to Belle Plaine last week and 358 rushing yards to Hudson the week before.
On offense, Lietz said getting back to playing like they played in the first few weeks of the season is crucial to winning Friday night. He wants to run the ball better, too.
“We haven’t played that well the last few weeks,” Lietz said. “We ran the ball well against Saydel and didn’t too bad the next two weeks either. The effort is there. The technique needs to be better though.”
The Tigerhawks (1-4) are led by senior quarterback Reegan Van Dyke, senior wideout Alex Lewis and junior wide receiver Zarek Hill on offense. Van Dyke has thrown for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. Four of those TDs have been thrown to Lewis, who leads the team with 18 catches for 259 yards.
Hill has 17 catches for 189 yards and a TD on offense and leads the defense with 25 tackles and two interceptions.
Senior Jake Dunsbergen has a team-high 33 1/2 tackles. The C-M defense has eight picks, three sacks and six fumble recoveries this season.
After this week’s game against Grand View Christian, the Tigerhawks head to North Tama (1-3), host GMG (0-4) and then travel to BGM (2-2) before ending the season at home against the defending Class A champion and second-ranked Gladbrook Reinbeck Rebels (4-0).
Baxter (3-1) at No. 5 Lone Tree (5-0)
The Bolts will face their second top-five ranked team this season when they head to Lone Tree on Friday night to face the fifth-ranked Lions.
It will be a tale of two teams. The Bolts will rely heavily on their passing game with quarterback Braydon Aker and a standout passing game, while the Lions will counter with a rushing attack that has already gained more than 1,000 yards.
Lone Tree’s offense is averaging 47 points per game, and the Lions’ defense is surrendering only 12.4 points per game. Only one team has scored more than 20 points against the Lions this season.
Senior Brock Smith headlines Lone Tree on both sides of the ball. He has passed for 127 yards and two scores, rushed for 135 yards and two TDs and caught 11 passes for 241 yards and four scores. Defensively, Smith has 36 1/2 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and three fumble recoveries.
Sophomore Harmon Miller has thrown for 507 yards with nine touchdowns and no picks. Bryce Houser leads the team with 525 rushing yards and 11 TDs.
On the other sideline, Baxter’s passing offense is one of the best in 8-man football. Aker has thrown for class-high 1,033 yards and 20 TDs with only three picks.
Aker’s favorite target has been Travis Lindemoen, who leads the class with 625 yards and 12 TDs on just 25 catches. He also has punt return and kick return touchdowns.
The defense has eight picks, six fumble recoveries and four sacks. Senior Marcus Mitchell leads the way with 34 1/2 tackles, six tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries, and senior Devin Carson has 31 1/2 tackles and two picks.
Central Lee (3-1, 2-0) at No. 8 PCM (3-1, 2-0)
The two best teams from 2A District 6 last year face off in a game that could decide the district in 2017. Both teams are 2-0 in district play and neither team has been challenged.
The common opponent is Albia. PCM defeated the Blue Demons 61-6, and Central Lee won 38-0. PCM’s lone loss this year came against 1A No. 3 Pella Christian by two points. Central Lee lost to Fort Madison, 56-35.
The Mustangs have outscored district opponents 135-20 so far.
PCM’s defense will have to stop Central Lee’s rushing attack if the Mustangs want to win. The Hawks have rushed for 1,103 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Three different players have gained at least 300 yards on the ground.
Austin Gaylord has 315 passing yards, 300 rushing yards and eight total TDs. He’s also returned a kick for a score.
The Mustang offense has thrown for 730 yards and rushed for 697 yards. PCM will have to identify Jared Brisby, who leads Central Lee with 32 1/2 tackles, eight tackles for loss and five sacks this season.
Reed Worth has thrown for 690 yards and 10 TDs for PCM. The top three rushers, which includes Worth, Wes Cummings and Noah Anderson, are averaging more than nine yards per carry combined.
Junior Preston Van Wyk has 309 receiving yards and four TDs on just eight catches.
No. 10 Lynnville-Sully (4-0, 2-0) at Winfield-Mt. Union (0-4, 0-2)
On paper, these matchup appears to be a mismatch.
The ranked Hawks have rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four games, and Winfield-Mt. Union has scored only 19 points on the season.
Lynnville-Sully is outscoring its Class A District 6 opponents 128-14 in two games. The Wolves have been shutout twice and rushed for only 323 yards in four games.
Four L-S players have rushed for at least 190 yards. The ground game leads the Hawk offense, and senior Sage Zylstra is the leader with 308 yards and five scores.
Zylstra averages nine yards per carry, but junior Nate Stock (238 yards, four TDs) averages 16 yards per carry and junior Gage Vander Leest (190 yards and five scores) averages 10 yards per carry.
The Hawk defense is led by senior Kemper Lukehart, who has 24 1/2 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks.