SEHS heads north to take on North Union
ARMSTRONG — For the third time in the last four weeks, the St. Edmond football team hits the road, taking on Class A, District 2 foe North Union here Friday night.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
After getting to a break-even point on the year with two straight wins over MMCRU and South O’Brien, the Gaels (2-4 overall, 2-2 district) have fallen to Ridge View and Hartley-HMS the last two weeks.
“We have two goals for the rest of the season,” SEHS head coach Jon Borer said. “First, make it as memorable as possible for the seniors because they have worked hard and deserve to go out that way.
“And second, to put ourselves in a situation that we can be better for next season.”
The St. Edmond offense appeared to find its rhythm beginning with a 27-20 win vs. MMCRU, as they racked up 34 points and over 300 yards the following week.
Since that time, though, they have scored just 13 points and have failed to surpass 200 total yards in either game.
“We went back through everything we’ve done on offense and found things that were simple that compliment what we are already doing,” Borer said. “We tweaked a few things, took some stuff out and added simple things to give us an opportunity to get some momentum going, especially on the ground.”
Getting back into that flow begins with quarterback Andrew Gibb. The junior has thrown for 828 yards, which ranks ninth in Class A, and has 60 completions, tied for sixth, but only 174 yards during the losing streak.
Senior wide receiver Isaac Lursen is first in Class A with 31 catches and tied for second with 546 yards. He is tied for third on the school’s single-season reception list, seven behind Dave Conell, and is fourth on the yardage chart, 226 behind Conell.
The Gaels will be without starting running back and safety Charlie Shelly, as the sophomore suffered a fractured spleen vs. HMS. Shelly will miss the remainder of the season.
“We are going to move Cade Naughton to running back and have Jack Rasmussen play fullback,” Borer said. “Peyton Spangler will also see some time in the backfield.
“Losing Charlie is tough because he is a great runner and an excellent receiver out of the backfield for us.”
Naughton has rushed for a team-high 311 yards and scored five touchdowns. Gibb also has four TDs and 221 yards on the ground.
Rasmussen, who led the state in tackles a year ago, currently sits tied for fourth overall with Ogden’s Jacob Kathman. The senior linebacker has made 71.5 stops on the year, including 26 solo tackles.
The Warriors (1-5, 0-4) have dropped four straight since besting Rockford, 52-27, in Week 2. They have scored just 24 points in those games, including an 8-0 defeat at the hands of MMCRU last week.
Isaac Engeman leads the ground attack, rushing for 405 yards on 107 carries with five touchdowns. Derek Thompson has 395 yards and four scores, and Jordi Rodriguez has provided 106.
Brendan Anderson is 7 of 30 passing for 57 yards with four interceptions and Preston Brandenburg has four catches for 39 yards.
Anderson, a sophomore, replaced classmate Robert Ortman vs. Ridge View after Ortman was injured. He had his best game last week, going 5 of 15 for 43 yards.
“They run a base formation that is double-tight, double-wing and will just come right after you,” Borer said. “We’ve worked really hard this week on reading the keys and I feel like we are ready.
“We had probably our best practice (Thursday) in the rain and mud. The kids had a lot of fun and that might be a good sign because the weather could be the same (Friday).”
Engeman anchors the Warrior defense with 65 tackles, including three for loss and two sacks. Thompson has two interceptions, Brandenburg two fumble recoveries and the team has 12 turnovers on the year.
North Union closes with South O’Brien and Sioux Central over the final two games.