Lynx don’t intend to let foot off gas now
WEBSTER CITY – Two big weeks with postseason implications on the line, two big wins for the Webster City football team.
It would be understandable – perhaps even expected – if the 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Lynx took their foot off the gas pedal when they face a Perry team that is winless in District 2 tonight at 7:30 p.m.
But that’s exactly what the squad hopes to avoid.
“We don’t want to give in to human nature and relax,” WCHS head coach Bob Howard said of tonight’s showdown at Lynx Field. “We’ve always felt that you compete against your own level of performance and that’s what we’ve tried to emphasize. We want to keep playing well. We’ve had two great weeks in a row and I don’t want to back up.”
Following victories over Ballard and Dallas Center-Grimes – two teams that have been ranked this season and are a combined 8-4 – by a combined 49 points, WCHS (5-1, 3-1) will be out to bring the hammer down early on the Blue Jays (2-4, 0-4). Perry has been outscored 137-20 by district opponents and the Lynx don’t want to give their opponent any unnecessary confidence that would come from success in the opening quarter.
“They’re better than they were last year,” Howard said of the Blue Jays. “They’re fairly physical defensively and they’ve got a couple of big kids, good kids at defensive end that will be a challenge to block. And down there last year (a 42-6 WCHS victory), for a quarter and a half we basically did nothing.”
But can Perry challenge a Lynx defense that ranks eighth in 3A in points allowed a 13.5 per game? If you’re into numbers, the answer is no.
The Blue Jays sit at the bottom of District 2 in total offense; to put it in perspective, their 911 yards as a team through six weeks is 106 yards less than what bruising WCHS tailback Robert Frederiksen has amassed on the ground by himself in five weeks. Frederiksen currently sits third on the 3A leaderboard in ground yards with 1,017.
But Howard says a change at quarterback recently has opened up the Perry offense somewhat. Alexis Garrido has taken over under center and completed 18 of 41 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown, and the Blue Jays showed some life a week ago in a 38-14 loss to Gilbert.
“They had some numbers against Gilbert and moved the ball some,” Howard said. “They changed QB’s a couple games ago and that’s made them a little more dangerous offensively.”
Perry has trouble running the ball though. Its 510 yards are last in the district, compared to the Lynx 2,358 rushing yards that lead the district by a whopping 701 yards over the next closest team Gilbert (1,657).
Don’t expect the Lynx to deviate from the script this evening. They’ll look to pound the ball behind their talented offensive line with Frederiksen, spinback Drew Fielder and wingback Payton Kannuan. All three went over 100 yards in last week’s 31-10 win over Dallas Center-Grimes.
With three weeks remaining in the regular season and a showdown looming with district leader Boone in Week 9, WCHS is currently on the correct path and, in some ways, the Lynx have even exceeded expectations.
“It’s been better (than expectations) because of the way we’ve played the last two weeks,” Howard said. “Before the season started, I thought if we could get two out of those big three games (against Gilbert, Ballard and Dallas Center-Grimes), that would put us in position to play for a playoff spot with a pretty young and inexperienced team. So I’m happy with where we’re at, but we want to keep going up from here.”