Small school Week 3 preview: Tigers face first real test

Union file photo

Michael Jones (pictured) and Pekin will look for their first win of the season this weekend against Class 1A No. 10 Mediapolis.
Union file photo Michael Jones (pictured) and Pekin will look for their first win of the season this weekend against Class 1A No. 10 Mediapolis.

No. 4 New London has their first big test this weekend against a fellow Henry County team, Highland and Sigourney-Keota aim to make their case for a top-10 ranking, and Van Buren looks to get their first win this season with Homecoming Night.

New London hasn’t had to break a sweat in their first two games of the season. The Tigers have outscored their oponents 131-12 in their first two games. Running back Shae Summerfield has already gained 291 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, and the denfense has forced six turnovers, one for a touchdown.

The Tigers will be coming off an impressive 71-12 win over Moravia, but they may have to put up quite a few points in Wayland, as they take on WACO in the Warriors’ own homecoming game.

WACO has averaged 52 points in their first two games of the year, a 48-38 win over North Shelby, Mo. and a 63-56 loss against Janesville.

The Warriors have fooled opposing defenses by fully utilizing senior quarterback Nik Coble.

Coble has an ultra-rare statline for the Warriors. He leads the team in passing (365 yards, four TDs, 0 INTs), rushing (205, six TDs) and receiving (six catches, 159 yards, three TDs).

WACO is in the second game of a five-game stretch where they play teams who have either been ranked in the top 10 or received votes in the top 10 of the 8-Player Gazette poll.

The meat of the Warriors’ schedule is one of the toughest around, and perhaps the hardest game of that stretch is against New London.

Last season, WACO played tough aginst two of the top three teams in the district, but they couldn’t get anything going against New London.

The Tigers beat the Warriors 71-12 in last year’s matchup, rushing for seven touchdowns in the process. New London’s defense gave Coble fits in their 2018 matchup. Coble was 11-29 for just one touchdown and three interceptions. The Tigers accounted for one-third of Coble’s nine picks.

The winner of that game will have a leg up on a brutal district, but with so many good teams in the area, it’s just the start of a crazy couple of months.

Highland and S-K are both in a similar position coming into Week 3.

Both teams won their first two games and both are facing winless teams, a perfect recipe for a 3-0 start.

The Huskies hit the road to take on Lynnville-Sully, and they hope to keep their offense clicking. The Huskies have two rushers who may go over 300 yards on the season this week, Cole Adamson (279 yards, three touchdowns) and Owen Donovan (271 yards, five touchdowns).

Huskies quarterback Connor Grinstead has went for four touchdowns and no interceptions this year.

Highland has averaged 43.5 points per game in their first two contests, and it has the potential to add some more. Lynnville-Sully has given up 44, 45 and 56 points respectively in their first three contests.

Lynnville-Sully’s latest loss was to S-K, a team that has outscored opponents 90-28 in its first two games.

The Cobras will be looking to stay unbeaten when they head west to play Albia.

S-K has done it all on the ground this season, only having to throw the ball five times total in their first two wins.

J.D. Stout has rushed for an impressive 382 yards and four touchdowns. Sam Sieren has rushed for 246 and three, and Brady Duwa has rushed for 164 and three.

The Cobras have forced an incredible 12 turnovers in their first two games. Duwa already has intercepted four passes this season, and Dawson Brumert has recovered three fumbles.

Albia is going to have to shore up its defense if the Blue Demons are going to pick up a win against the Cobras. They’ve given up over 50 points in both of their losses this season.

Still looking for their first win is Van Buren, and maybe a sizable crowd can lead to victory this weekend. They’ll host another winless team in Davis County. The Warriors have only scored eight points so far this season, but the Mustangs aren’t too far ahead of that mark, getting outscored 64-28 in their first two games.

Van Buren’s Corey Bunnell is at exactly 100 yards rushing so far this year. Quarterback Lane Davis is 9-19 for 133 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and receiver Tony Davidson leads the team with five catches for 90 yards and a score.

Pekin will also be hunting for their first win this weekend, but it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Panthers. They’ll take on Class 1A No. 10 Mediapolis, a team that has averaged 64 points per game and given up just 10.5 points per game in their first two contests.

The Panthers will be looking for some magic out of Dayne Eckley, who leads the team with 139 yards and one touchdown this year.

In other action, Winfield-Mt. Union opens up district play at Montezuma. Mid-Prairie heads to Wilton, and Columbus looks to build on last week’s win with a game at Louisa-Muscatine.