A Homecoming Challenge Faces E’Hawks
When you mention the term Homecoming, all kinds of images come to mind. Some think of parades, floats, the crowning of a queen and king and speeches by players. Add in the faces of alumni returning to their alma mater to cheer on their school to a victory.
There are all kinds of memories involved in Homecomings, to be sure, and come Friday night, the Emmetsburg E’Hawks will have some memories when they take to Duane Twait Field to host the Gaels of Fort Dodge St. Edmond’s High School.
Those memories will date back to the 2005 season, when the Gaels handed Emmetsburg a pair of losses, first in the regular season, and then in a quarterfinal playoff game that ended Emmetsburg’s hopes for 2005.
But if you think about it realistically, there are hundreds of old ghosts whispering on the winds where football is concerned, and this Friday will be no different. The only thing that Coach Mike Dunlap’s Emmetsburg E’Hawks will be thinking about is a game of football, or more specifically, four full quarters of play against St. Edmonds.
“We know that when Coach Tighe and St. Edmonds come in here, they’re going to be a team with great team speed overall,” Coach Dunlap admitted. “They’ll operate out of the belly, primarily giving the ball to the second man through the line.”
But don’t think for a moment that St. Edmond’s is a one-dimensional team, offensively.
“When they throw the ball, they like to throw it deep,” Dunlap noted, “and hey have some very good athletes, again with great speed, as their receivers.”
On the defensive side of the football, the Gaels will put up a 6/2 defense, according to Dunlap, nothing new that the E’Hawks haven’t worked against already this season.
“We’re just going to have to go out and play our best game of the year,” Dunlap said. “We played well against St. Ansgar last week, but we certainly know what we need to work on and where we need to improve.”
While the E’Hawks racked up over 500 yards in that win, St. Edmonds has been putting up some impressive numbers as well in their first four games of the season, including their win over West Fork last Friday night.
But then in the fifth week of the season, you want your teams to be starting to make a statement. With both the Gaels and E’Hawks at 4-0, the implications of the game are huge when looking at the district.
With the E’Hawks using the passing game to their advantage last week, there are lots of possibilities for Friday’s game.
“It was nice to be able to pass when we needed and wanted to,” Dunlap said. “We were able to get the routes, the execution and the protection we needed to make the passing game work, so it’s a nice weapon in the offense.”
However, Friday will boil down to some very simple tenents.
“We will have to go out and play very well on both offense and defense,” Dunlap stated. “We will have to tackle well, stay on our blocks and play assignment defense to the letter against St. Edmonds.”
Dunlap continued, “Last week was a great team effort for the victory, but at this time of the season, we still have to play every game like its our most important game of the year. There’s just no if, and or but about it. This will be our most important game of the season.”