The regular season is coming down to crunch time with just two games to play for the Emmetsburg E-Hawk football team. While the E-Hawks remain perfect in Class 1A District One, they face a huge challenge this Friday night as they travel to Paullina to take on the Wolverines of South O'Brien.
Even though the non-district slate has not been kind to Emmetsburg this season, the E-Hawks have shown great resolve and spirit to bounce back from setbacks in those three games.
That resolve will have to be overflowing this Friday evening in Paullina. South O'Brien is 3-1 in District play with their lone loss to LeMars Gehlen in the opening week of district play.
"South O'Brien is a very balanced football team, both offensively and defensively,"?noted Emmetsburg Head Coach Mike Dunlap. "They are a very physical ballclub and they have great team speed overall."
Last season, the Wolverines presented a strong challenge with their running game, and Dunlap expects the same scenario this Friday night as well.
"The have the best back that we will see all season long,"?Dunlap said. "Offensively, South O'Brien features their tailback, a 1,000-yard rusher, and they will run the blast and the toss, featuring him."
If that isn't enough of a concern for the E-Hawks, throw in the Wolverines' defense.
"On defense, they will always have nine guys up in the box on every play,"?Dunlap noted.
In posting a 27-9 victory over the Hawks of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn last Friday night, the E-Hawks came up with another solid defensive effort, stopping the Hawks down on the one-yard line and forcing several turnovers on downs in the contest. Another solid game from the E-Hawk defense is going to be needed come Friday night.
"For us, we need to continue to improve on both our offensive and defensive lines this week,"?Dunlap continued. "We will have to play our best assignment defense and really take care of the football on both sides of the ball. We will also need to be very sharp on our tackling in this game."
While the offense also came up with a solid effort in last week's win, Dunlap knows that the E-Hawks will still need to focus on goal number one. "We need to continue to focus on the little things as well and being a disciplined football team on both sides of the football."