Fresh off their first win of the season against Jesup last Friday, the Oelwein Huskies varsity football team will play Vinton-Shellsburg (2-0) in their home opener this Friday.
“We are all excited to play in front of the home fans, playing on the road the first two weeks was a difficult task,” said Oelwein head coach Bob Lape. “It allows us to have some extra time to relax after school and mentally prepare for the task at hand.”
Junior running back Gage Voshell set a school single-game record with 316 rushing yards last week and rushed for five touchdowns against Jesup.
Lape said Voshell ran hard, but he credits the offensive line for opening running lanes for him.
“Without the line doing their job, no one can have success,” Lape said. “They did a great job of being gritty and focusing on their job of blocking.”
Voshell and Ethan Thomas will look to have similar success this week against the Vikings defense; which allowed 192 rushing yards last week to Tipton.
Key defensive players on Vinton-Shellsburg include Luke Beyer (16.5 tackles), Elijah Kalous (10 tackles, one sack) and Sam Griffith (nine tackles, two interceptions, one sack).
Lape said Oelwein’s preparation for Vinton-Shellsburg remains the same as previous weeks.
“The more routine we can have helps our players to become comfortable with getting better at the things we need to improve on to have success,” Lape said. “We are more worried about ourselves because we can control what we do and how we do it. We will work on their favorite offensive plays and their defensive fronts.”
Key offensive players for the Vikings include quarterback Brooks Erickson (205 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception, 156.5 QB rating), running back Jose Wilson (97 rushing yards, 4.9 yards per carry, two rushing touchdowns) and wide receiver CJ Rickels (seven catches, 122 yards, two touchdowns).
Defensively; Oelwein will look to defensive back Cameren Palmer (19 tackles, one interception), linebacker Carsen Jeanes (13 tackles), linebacker Isaac Opperman (6.5 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one fumble recovery), Voshell (14.5 tackles) and defensive lineman Adam Deaner (eight tackles) to slow down Vinton-Shellsburg.
For Week 3 against Vinton-Shellsburg, Lape said he plans on using the same offensive and defensive strategies he has all season.
“The plan rarely changes each week, play offense with the idea of moving the chains and developing the running game and throw when we want and not when we have to,” Lape said. “Defensively, recognize the formations and plays they want to run out of those formations.”