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Webster City Football: Week 1 Observations

September 2, 2013 - Troy Banning
I learned quite a bit about the Webster City football team in its season opener against Ballard on Friday. Some good, some bad ... that’s usually how it breaks down after Week 1. I’m not ready to give my season prediction (even if I were, I’d keep it to myself), but the Lynx 13-0 victory was a good starting point as they get set to take on Gilbert this Friday.

Here are five things I took away from the win.

1. This defense is fast and aggressive — two definite positives. Gone are the days of the beefed up and slow defensive linemen. Head coach Bob Howard’s group has got speed — and plenty of power, too — at pretty much every position, something that showed up when the Lynx were forced to run down Ballard’s Jacob Nethers from behind late in the first half. Who made the tackle nearly 50 yards down the field? The nose tackle — yes, nose tackle! — Dylan Fielder.

2. Linebackers Rylee Lawson and Nelson Ball are the real deal. Ball is more of an instinctual player ... he always seems to be in the right place at the right time and his tackling skills are arguably the best on the team. Lawson is a play-maker, which he proved with his two sacks. Together they give Webster City its best set of inside linebackers since ... well, at least since I’ve been covering the team.

3. Drew Fielder gives WCHS a leg up. He’s only a freshman, but kicker/punter Drew Fielder has got a powerful leg. Now, don’t expect the Lynx to start trying to kick a lot of field goals; that’s not really Howard’s MO. But the rookie gives the Lynx a decided edge on kickoffs when he can boom the ball down near the goal line or into the end zone, something he did on Friday. No more squib kicks that opponents can pick up at the 30 and that should give WCHS the field-possession advantage. And his punting skills — he averaged nearly 41 yards per boot — are a definite upgrade.

4. The offense is a work in progress. WCHS is attempting to diversify its offense this season by running both the single wing and the spread option, something that fits into senior Trey Tesdahl’s strengths. At times it looked good on Friday, but there were also plenty of plays that went nowhere. Some of that comes from the Lynx inexperienced offensive line trying to find its footing, and some of it is working out the kinks in the new system. The playmakers are there, but it’s probably going to take some time before the Lynx reach their full offensive potential.

5. Ben Mossman makes Lynx the offense much better. Remember two years ago when WCHS had perhaps the top running game in Class 3A with Keagan Parks, Jonny Davis and Sam Mossman? What’s sometimes forgotten is that wide receiver Caleb Crouthamel was an all-state player that year after setting school records. Well, the Lynx have another good receiver this year in Ben Mossman and his ability to keep defenses honest may be the offense’s greatest strength going forward. He’s big (6-2, nearly 200 pounds), he catches pretty much everything thrown his way and he’s not afraid to go over the middle and take a hit. The team’s go-ahead score against Ballard — a TD toss to Tyler Lockwood over the middle — was possible because Ballard had three defenders in the vicinity of Mossman on the right flank. The more passes that go his way, the more WCHS will be able to run the ball with success.


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