WEBSTER CITY - The hard part is over. But that doesn't mean it's time to kick back and relax.
With a spot in the state playoffs and a Class 3A first-round home game next Wednesday already guaranteed, the Webster City football team will go out of district and attempt to wrap up an 8-1 regular season tonight when it takes on Storm Lake on the Tornadoes' home field at 7:30 p.m.
Winners of back-to-back games following their only loss - a 22-7 setback at the hands of fourth-ranked Clear Lake - the Lynx (7-1) will be the decided favorites against a Storm Lake (2-6) squad that has lost four consecutive contests.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City tailback Connor Larson runs through the tackle attempt of Humboldt’s Alex Nelson (4) during the Lynx 14-0 win last Friday. WCHS takes a 7-1 record into tonight’s regular-season finale against Storm Lake on the road. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
WCHS will also be out to rectify a frustrating 45-29 loss to the Tornadoes in the final game of the regular season last fall.
The always stingy WCHS defense - it ranks third in the class, allowing just 9.38 points per game with four shutouts in tow - will be challenged by the pass-happy Tornadoes. Storm Lake quarterback Mitch Martin has thrown for 865 yards and five touchdowns this season, but he has been picked off 12 times.
If last week's blanking of Humboldt in which the Lynx held standout tailback Brady Ross to four ground yards is any indication, don't expect the Tornadoes to rely too heavily on their backfield. Leading ball carrier Eric Broich has just 373 yards on the campaign.
It may also be a solid precursor for the Lynx, who are expected to draw Grinnell and its all-state quarterback, senior Eli Dunne, in the first round of the playoffs. Dunne leads the class in passing yards with 1,983; he's thrown 20 touchdowns against just five INTs.
Expect WCHS to be run-oriented per usual and rely heavily on senior tailback Connor Larson. He enters the final week of the regular season with 1,184 yards - he ranks third in 3A - and 16 TDs.
Larson has rushed for 2,319 yards in his career and sits seventh in school history. He needs 94 yards to pass Mickey Lundquist (2,412 career yards) for sixth and 147 to jump in front of Frank Reinhardt (2,465) for fifth.
Spinback Alex Oswald and wingback Dylan Fielder also proved to be valuable weapons in the 14-0 win over the Wildcats as well.
Storm Lake's defense hasn't had much success in slowing teams down during its recent losing streak. Opponents have scored an average of 51.5 points per game over the last four weeks; LeMars put up 58 last Friday in a 44-point victory.
The Tornadoes haven't allowed fewer than 42 points in any of their six losses.