Upon further review: Rock Valley showdown a clash of styles
When Clinton hosts Jefferson in a high school football game Friday night, it will not only be a battle of two of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the Rock Valley Conference.
It also represents a clash of styles and philosophies--even though both teams pride themselves on running the football.
The Eagles are averaging more than 282 rushing yards per game and love to run right up the middle and control the clock. The Cougars are averaging an astonishing 437 rushing yards per game and seem to use their speed to bust a big play outside every other minute.
No one has seen the two styles more closely in recent weeks than Greg Enz. His Big Foot team had the unenviable task of trying to slow the two teams down the past two weeks, and the Chiefs lost to Clinton 48-12 in Week 3 and Jefferson 45-22 on Friday night.
"They're very different in terms of their approach," Enz said Saturday. "It's two different styles. I think Clinton is more suited for being on the edge, with their speed. ... With Jefferson, the way I describe them is they're always trying to gap you. They're trying to knock you down, kick you out and put a whole lot of humanity inside where that kick-out is."
Evan Anfang and Nolan Klawitter have been the work horses for Jefferson. Anfang is two yards away in the season opener from having four 100-yard rushing games and has totaled 521 yards so far after going for 206 and three touchdowns against Big Foot. Klawitter has rushed for 384 yards and has scored in all four games.
Clinton senior Zach Krause is on a torrid pace and nearly has 1,000 yards rushing in just four games. He's got eight touchdowns and has rushed for at least 232 yards three times. Senior quarterback Tyler Halsted is also averaging more than 100 rushing yards.
"(Jefferson is) a little bit more of the physical, in-your-face type of team," Enz said. "If (Clinton has) the choice, they want you running sideline-to-sideline because they can track you down."
And in that case, Enz believes Friday's game will come down to the defenses.
Which team's defense allows their offense to dictate the style of play?
And while neither team has had a ton of trouble scoring to this point--they're combining to average about 67 points per game--Enz wouldn't be surprised to see the game played in the 20s.
But that's about as far as he's willing to go with predictions.
"If you're going to ask me who's going to win," Enz said. "I'd rather watch it than make a prediction."
Ferone collects rock
Derek Diehl brought at least one tradition with him when he left Williams Bay to take over as head football coach at Beloit Turner.
Instead of handing out a game ball to a player every week, Diehl and his staff hand out a small rock.
Senior Sereno Ferone finally picked up that rock--and a jovial embrace from Diehl, who had passed him over for the trophy more than once before--after scoring two touchdowns and intercepting a pass in a 42-19 win over Brodhead/Juda on Friday that got Turner to 4-0.
"It really, to me, symbolized a player that we leaned on. Who was our rock tonight?" Diehl said. "So we brought the rock award here, and so far many different kids have won it. I think they really like it. It gives them something to compete for."
Speaking of rocks...
It's Monterey Rock week.
Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig will battle for the crosstown rivalry trophy for the 51st time Friday night at Monterey Stadium.
After matching 1-3 starts, there's plenty on the line. As we reach the midway point of the season, 2-3 will sure feel a lot better than 1-4 at this time next weekend.
Badger overcomes slow starts
Lake Geneva Badger has trailed early in both of its Southern Lakes Conference games.
The Badgers were down 14-7 into the third quarter before storming to a 38-21 victory over Waterford in Week 3. On Friday, they trailed 14-0 in the first quarter before piling up 50 points to beat Burlington.