Coming off a big win over East Sac County, Estherville Lincoln Central should have no trouble getting up for tonight's homecoming game against Clarion-Goldfield.
"This should be a game where we (the coaching staff) shouldn't have to generate enthusiasm," said ELC coach Chuck Fandel.
The Midgets have the edge in head-to-head games against the Cowboys with a 14-6 win in 2006 and a 42-0 win in 2007.
However, Clarion-Goldfield enters this game with a 3-0 record, a big line and a strong running game.
Until last week, the Midgets had struggled offensively.
The Cowboys opened their season with a 17-14 win over Humboldt followed by a 62-39 slugfest with Eagle Grove and then a 17-14 win over South Central Calhoun in last week's district opener.
Clarion-Goldfield coach Paul Hansch said both Humboldt and South Central Calhoun had strong defenses.
"Humboldt is a very physical team and the same with South Central Calhoun," said Hansch. "We won both games with our kicker, a foreign exchange student No. 6 (Jayden Boylan)."
Of the Eagle Grove game, Hansch said the Eagles' defense couldn't stop them. However, Eagle Grove's quarterback made several plays.
Hansch said Clarion goldfield got up three touchdowns and maintained a three-to-four touchdown lead most of the game.
"But we didn't contain their quarterback very well," said Hansch.
Looking to tonight's game, Hansch said one goal is to contain running back Andres Blanco.
"We can't let him beat us," Hansch said. "He's very fast and shifty..
The coach said he was impressed also with the way quarterback Evan Hansen throws down the middle.
"We can't get caught with the receivers behind our defensive backs," he said.
The Cowboys did come up with three interceptions last week.
In general, Clarion-Goldfield returns seven starters on offense and defense.
Hansch was pleased with his team's starting district play with a win over South Central Calhoun.
"They're fundamentally sound and they'll beat a lot of teams in the district this year," Hansch said of the Titans.
Of his own team, Hansch said his kids play hard and are "reasonably talented."
"We don't have any standout, but the kids just enjoy playing and playing hard," he said.
Meanwhile the Midgets may be flush with their victory over East Sac County.
Coach Fandel said his team was able to control the line of scrimmage.
"Our running game was very good which allowed us to do some play-action," he said. "We could pick when to pass."
The Midgets didn't need to pass much and Hansen was 3-for-3 with two touchdowns.
"Offensively, defensively and even special teams did a nice job," Fandel said.
Fandel remembers when ELC played Clarion-Goldfield in 2006 and 2007 and expects a similar squad.
"They run a double wing and are proud of it," Fandel said. "That's what his guys or going to hang their hat on."
Fandel said his defensive front line would have to stay low and take out the blockers so the linebackers can fill in the holes.
Jake Haberman, a 5-8, 187-pound senior, leads the Cowboy rushing attack with 318 yards on 71 carries with six touchdowns. Matt Odland, 5-7, 160-pound back has 303 yards on 54 carries with three touchdowns. Also Trenton Sann, a 6-2, 198-pound sophomore, has 215 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns.
Quarterback Adam Stevens has passed 16 times in three games with nine completions for 137 yards with two interceptions.
ELC's offense may have trouble as the Clarion-Goldfield defensive front line is bigger.
"They run a similar defense with a 4-4 to East Sac, but they blitz more often," he said. "We'll also have to control their two down tackles to be successful."