After rallying from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit only to lose on the final play, Eldon coach Shannon Jolley gathered his players in the west endzone following their defeat at Osage last week. With winless seasons in 2008 and 2009, Jolley wanted his players to remember the progress they've made and how far the program has come.
Scouting report and more inside
After rallying from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit only to lose on the final play, Eldon coach Shannon Jolley gathered his players in the west endzone following their defeat at Osage last week.
With winless seasons in 2008 and 2009, Jolley wanted his players to remember the progress they've made and how far the program has come.
"We obviously wanted to win and felt we could win, but that was a great high school football game all around," Jolley said. "I'm proud of the way our players competed and tried to win the game."
Jolley, not one to take any moral victories from a loss, seemed emotional when discussing the way his team played against Osage.
Eldon is 1-4 this year but clearly not the same 0-10 team it was last season.
Throw out a 43-0 loss to Class 1 state-title-contender Westran and Eldon's three other losses this season have been by a combined 20 points.
In 2009, Eldon lost all but one game by 25 or more points and was shutout five teams.
Eldon's improvement has come via an improved run defense and a running-back-by-committee-style rushing attack.
Splitting touches between Brad Dinwiddie, Cory Mason and Kory McPheeters, Eldon kept Osage's defense guessing for much of the game.
Once the Mustangs had established the run, Eldon opened up the playbook a bit and burned Osage on a 55-yard play action pass from Ryan Kliethermes to McPheeters that set up a touchdown.
Playing a competitive game against Osage is something Mustang players can feel good about, Jolley said.
"That's a program that's won district titles and been to the state playoffs," Jolley said. "They've done what you want a program to do. We're trying to get up to that level."
Eldon showed it was playing to win, too. The Mustangs went for an outside kick with 7 minutes left in the game after it had gotten within 22-16.
"We had the momentum and were trying to win the game," Jolley said.
Coach Randy Morrow
2010 record 2-3
2009 record 10-0 (10-1)
History Warsaw had a perfect 10-0 season in 2009. The streak included a 42-16 win at Allee Field in Eldon. The Wildcats have stumbled to a 2-3 record so far this season. The Mustangs come off a 25-22 loss to Osage that ended with a last-second field goal.
3 players to watch
Nolan Flores, senior HB/LB (1) — In Warsaw's pistol offense, Flores is a threat to run or catch passes. He has emerged as a favorite target for duel-threat quarterback Johnny Eierman. Flores is a good pass defender who can drop back into coverage and break on the ball for interceptions.
Brandon Waters, junior FB/LB (26) —Yonkers is one of Warsaw's top tacklers. Against the Mustangs' run-based offense, the Warsaw linebackers will go up against pulling guards and blocking backs, and Waters will likely have several stops as the night wears on.
Kris Yonkers, senior HB/LB (5) — Yonkers averages about ten carries per game. He makes big contributions on a Warsaw defense that has been inconsistent this season. The Wildcats held California to seven points, but got absolutely shredded in a 54-20 loss to Versailles last week.
Mason Farris, junior OL/LB (56) — Farris had a good game on the offensive line in last week's game with Osage, where Eldon's comeback from a 22-9 deficit fell just short. Farris helped open big running lanes for the Mustangs' stable of runners. On defense, the linebacker will need to utilize sideline-to-sideline speed against Warsaw's pistol offense.
Matt Pehle, junior TE/DE (44) — Eldon's offensive playbook puts stock in a tight end's blocking ability, and Pehle has delivered several times throughout the season against linebackers and defensive tackles. Against Warsaw, the Mustangs will need their defensive ends to help contain the Wildcats to the interior of the line.
Jesse Bond, senior WR (33) — While Eldon relies on the run, it also relies on its receivers to make the most of their opportunities in passing situations. Bond is an elusive speedster capable of gaining ground after receptions.