What started back in the hot, humid days of early August will come to a conclusion this Friday night as the regular season of Iowa High School Football concludes. For Emmetsburg's E-Hawks, the last step on the journey to a district title is a stop in LeMars to meet the Jays of Gehlen Catholic.
"Gehlen has the leading quarterback in the state,"?noted Emmetsburg Head Coach Mike Dunlap. "They have the leading aerial offense in the state in all classes, without a doubt."
While this will be the first-ever meeting of the E-Hawks and Jays, both teams have the pedigree to make the regular season finale` a great matchup. Emmetsburg made it to the semi-finals in 2011, while Gehlen bowed out of the post-season in the quarterfinal round in 2011.
"They are a very talented, speedy football team,"?Dunlap said. "With their speed, they like to spread the field. They'll run out of twins and trips, which is evident from their aerial game."
When the Jays are on defense, the scheme is a 4/3 alignment, Dunlap noted.
"As you look at Gehlen, they are certainly more than capable of winning. They are very aggressive on both offense and defense and they are a quality football team."
After shutting out South O'Brien last Friday night in a 51-0 contest at Duane Twait Field on Senior Night, Dunlap knows the E-Hawks face a formidable challenge as they travel to LeMars.
"We must continue to improve our game," Dunlap said. "We need to continue to improve on offense, on defense and on our special teams."
As it has all season long, focus is also a primary emphasis for the E-Hawks as they go into Friday's game.
"We must continue to be a focused, disciplined football team,"?Dunlap said.?"This is about us and the effort that we put forth come Friday night. No one else can do it for us - We have to do this ourselves."
Friday's game will be played at the LeMars Community High School Football Field, which is located at 921 3rd Avenue Southwest in LeMars.
As a reminder, the first round of the 2012 Iowa High School Football Playoff Series begins on Wednesday, Oct. 24. All first round games begin at 7 p.m.