Gaels square off with co-leader Ridge View
HOLSTEIN — Through two weeks, a trio of teams remain perfect in Class A, District 2.
Two of them collide here on Friday night, as St. Edmond takes on Ridge View.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Gaels (2-2 overall, 2-0 in the district) went on the road last Friday and downed 2016 playoff qualifier South O’Brien, 34-7. Since opening with losses to Mason City Newman and Manson Northwest Webster, Jon Borer’s squad had won two straight.
Bishop Garrigan, ranked fourth and the defending Class A state runner-up, are the third unbeaten program. The Golden Bears take on MMCRU this week.
After dropping the first road game of the year in Week 2, Borer was pleased with the way his team came out of the gates against the Wolverines. They took an early 14-0 lead, which included a 19-play drive to start things off, and produced 20 points in the fourth to seal the win.
“I was proud of the resilence we showed on that first drive because it wasn’t pretty, but we rallied and were able to convert on third and fourth (down situations),” Borer said. “We had another solid first quarter, but hit a lull in the middle again. We just aren’t where we want to be there.
“But we cranked it up again in the fourth. The kids were telling me how they felt like they were in great shape in the fourth and that was the difference. We’ve really worked hard on our conditioning.”
That could come into play again here this week, as several starters have been dealing with an illness that is going through the team and temperatures will be in the mid-80s for the second straight Friday.
“It’s been tough because we aren’t a very deep team as it is,” Borer said. “The one positive from all of this is that it has allowed us to work with some of the younger kids more and give them more attention.
“I do expect most of them to play (Friday night), but we’ll just have to see how healthy we are.”
Junior quarterback Andrew Gibb put his name atop the school’s record books last week, setting a new high mark for completions (18) and yards (278). He is the district frontrunner in completions (48), attempts (97) and yards (652) this year.
Isaac Lursen posted his third 100-yard receiving game against South O’Brien, catching eight passes for 102 yards. Lursen has 26 receptions, 411 yards and a touchdown this year
After hitting four different receivers vs. MMCRU, Gibb found five last Friday. Sophomore Jackson Bemrich had his first four career receptions, covering 89 yards and a score. Elijah Litwiller, Charlie Shelly and Cade Naughton all caught passes as well.
Naughton also ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns, adding a third TD through the air. He leads the Gaels with 279 yards rushing, with Shelly adding 237.
“Andrew continues to improve with each game and our receivers — led by Isaac — are getting better, too,” Borer said. “I thought our offensive line again did a great job blocking.”
A year after leading the state in tackles, senior Jack Rasmussen has made 46 stops from his linebacker position to pace the district, including 12.5 last week. He ranks 14th in all classes so far this season.
“Jack is just all over the field each week,” Borer said. “The defense did a good job of containing (South O’Brien) and making stops.”
Ridge View (3-1, 2-0) is anchored by University of Iowa recruit Ezra Miller — a 6-foot-7, 300-pound lineman. Miller is the cousin of Fort Dodge Senior High quarterback Drake Miller.
Dale Tokheim took over as head coach for Jeff De Haan this past season. The Raptors were third-place district finishers last year.
Since opening district play, Ridge View has posted back-to-back wins over North Union (45-0) and Hartley-HMS (26-22). Jake Mitchell, a senior, ran for 169 yards and was one of three players to score touchdowns in the win vs. HMS.
“They have some good size; 10 kids on their roster are over 250 pounds,” Borer said. “Miller is very athletic for his size, and really gets down the field.
“They have some good weapons on offense and don’t pass much, but when they do, they like to take some shots (down field).”
Mitchell leads the team with 67 carries for 497 yards and five TDs. He ranks second in the district in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Jake Kliegl, a junior, has 307 yards rushing and junior quarterback Jake Tokheim is 10 of 35 for 180 yards and two TDs.
Last year, Ridge View won at Dodger Stadium, 21-7. St. Edmond had 204 yards rushing in the game, with the Raptors recording 150 on the ground and another 112 in the air.
Following that win in 2016, Ridge View was 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the district. The Raptors dropped three of their last four, though, and missed the playoffs after a 42-8 loss to South O’Brien.