Estherville Lincoln Central and Central Lyon/George-Little Rock have met on the gridiron four of the last six years.
So far the Midgets haven't had much success against the perennial powerhouse.
In 2006 and 2007, the two teams met in the Class 2A quarterfinals. The Lions won 20-14 in 2006 and then by the same score in overtime in 2007.
Estherville Lincoln Central’s defense may have its hands full against Central Lyon/George-Little Rock tonight as the Midgets travel to Rock Rapids.
EDN photo by David Swartz
After a two-year hiatus, the Midgets and Lions have been in the same district the past two season. Central Lyon/George-Little Rock shut out ELC 31-0 in 2010 and 35-0 last season.
Tonight, the teams meet in a non-district game in Rock Rapids.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock enters the game with a 3-2 record.
After pitching shutouts against Cherokee (56-0) and MOC-Floyd Valley (34-0), the Lions lost 34-14 to Sheldon last week.
"We walked off the field feeling like we didn't play even close to our potential," said Central Lyon/George-Little Rock coach Toby Lorenzen. "We let things slip and did a poor job of tackling."
Lorenzen, now in his 17th year as head coach, knows what to expect as ELC comes to town.
"I've been very impressed with them on film," he said. "They're a physical team with good team speed. They look like they're playing better football at this point than they were last year."
Lorenzen wants to his team with more focus.
"Last week we walked on against Sheldon and weren't ready to play," he said. "We need to play with a purpose."
One area that has been consistent is the Lions running game.
Tailback Josh Hunt has 632 yards on 101 carries with five touchdowns this season. Fullback Luke Grooters has 351 yards on 51 carries with five touchdowns.
"We've played consistent football event with a new quarterback," said Lorenzen.
Quarterback Jess Markus has completed 12-of-32 passes for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He has also carried the ball 51 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
A third weapon is flanker Jesse Henrichs who has 142 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries.
Grooters leads the defense with 43 tackles with a sack while Ben Starr has 37 tackles with two sacks.
"I expect a good game," Lorenzen concluded.
For ELC, the Midgets are coming off a close game against South Central Calhoun.
Coach Chuck Fandel expect to see a typical Central Lyon/George-Little Rock team tonight.
"They come right at you," he said. "They're a traditional powerhouse in football and remind me of Emmetsburg in what they like to do. They might put the ball up in the air, maybe 7-10 times per game. But they run a lot of power.
"The fullback leads the way for the tailback and the quarterback can run too," Fandel continued. "We need to make contact at the line and keep are pad level low. We can't let our linebackers get blown back."
Offensively, ELC is still looking for consistency.
"That second drive against South Central Calhoun last week was one of the better ones of the season," Fandel said. "People need to get the block-those three or four crucial blocks is where we need consistency."