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Homecoming for FDSH vs. Storm Lake

The Fort Dodge football team’s main objective has arguably never been more simple.

“We need to get our confidence back,” Dodger head coach Nik Moser said. “Start fast, get back to doing things the right way, clean up our mistakes and improve on what we’ve done — both right and wrong.

“Just go 1-0 this week.”

Battered and bruised by a pair of physical setbacks the last two weeks, FDSH (2-4 overall, 0-2 Class 4A, District 1) knows it now must win out to secure a winning season. It’s possible, but Moser’s squad isn’t thinking about anything beyond Storm Lake (0-6, 0-2) and Homecoming on Friday night.

“We’re not in a position to start playing the long-term, what-if game,” Moser said. “Our focus is strictly on (facing the Tornadoes). We’ve backed ourselves into a corner and we have to get our minds right. It’s been a combination of facing two really good (opponents in Webster City and Spencer), and us just not executing at a consistent level. But there’s no sense in looking back now.”

The Dodgers now own four losses to programs with a combined record of 18-6. Last week, the Tigers ran rougshod over the FDSH defense in a 49-14 victory at Spencer.

Storm Lake has dropped district contests to Le Mars (49-10) and Denison-Schleswig (42-7). The Tornadoes were shut out in each of their first three games, and have allowed 35 or more points every week.

“They’re struggling, but we’ve been struggling in our own right and have really no business thinking we can just show up without keeping our intensity and performance at a high level,” Moser said. “I don’t want to play poorly and win. We’ve got to get this thing back on track. We only have three opportunities left (in the regular season). It’s important that we appreciate being back on the field and make the most of the chances in front of us. It’s really that simple.”

The Dodgers also haven’t won a Homecoming contest in almost three full years after going 15-5 from 2000-19.

“We want to get off the schneid, so to speak, in a lot of ways,” Moser said. “There’s no better way to do that than in front of a big crowd at Dodger Stadium. Hopefully we’ll get the ball rolling again for this stretch run.”

Senior quarterback Connor Carver recently moved into third place on the Dodgers’ all-time charts for passing yards (3,457) and touchdowns (33). Carver has thrown for 1,141 yards and 13 scores so far this fall.

“We don’t have anything new going (into the playbook), and we’re not going to try and change who we are,” Moser said. “The things we should be doing well…it’s important we get back into that rhythm. And we have to do it with everyone on board physically, mentally and emotionally.”

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