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ELC begins two-game home stand with Forest City

By David Swartz

October 4, 2012
Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

After road games in which Estherville Lincoln Central had chances for a victory, the Midgets return home for the next two weeks as they try to change their fortunes.

Forest City comes to town tonight with a 5-1 record overall and 3-1 in district play. The Indians lone lost is to No. 5 Spirit Lake. Forest City held Spirit Lake to its season-low total of 17 points.

In other games, Forest City opened the season with a 29-0 win over Algona then beat Clear Lake 32-17 before falling to Spirit Lake 17-0. Forest City has won its last three games, winning 34-14 over East Sac County, 21-0 over Clarion-Goldfield and 14-12 over South Central Calhoun.

Forest City coach Chad Moore said the defense has carried the team this season, especially with some recent injuries.

"Our defense has been pretty stout and that's what we hang our hat on," said Moore.

The coach said they lost a few starters to injury at the beginning of last week's South Central Calhoun job.

"Our backs did a credible job, but South Central played very physical," said Moore. "They gave us everything they had. Mathematically, no one in the district has been eliminated from the playoffs yet."

Moore said the game against South Central Calhoun wasn't his team's best.

"We had three opportunities inside the 10-yard line that we didn't convert," he said.

Tonight's game against ELC has the coach a "little nervous" specifically the play of running back Andres Blanco and receiver Matt Burrell.

"I like their (ELC's) running game," said Moore. "They also play hard on defense and at times can be very physical up front."

Moore talked about containing both Blanco and Burrell.

Against ELC's defense, Moore wants to see his offense execute better and convert the red zone opportunities.

"We didn't finish our drives last week, so we need to limit our mistakes and not shoot ourselves in the foot."

ELC coach Chuck Fandel said Forest City runs effectively and has good skill personnel.

"They also throw very well," he said. "They're one of the district leaders in rushing and passing."

Quarterback Tate Thompson has completed 28-of-46 passes for 411 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He also has rushed the ball 68 times for 292 yards and four touchdowns.

Colton Westerberg is the team's leading rusher with 551 yards on 102 carries with six touchdowns. However he is not listed in the starting lineup provided by Coach Moore. However Josh Dakken rushed for 102 yards in last week's win against South Central Calhoun.

Coach Fandel still expects Forest City to run some sweeps and try to get outside.

"We need to do a better job on the perimeter," said Fandel.

Last week, ELC played competitively with Central Lyon/George-Little Rock up to the fourth quarter.

"We just have to stay mentally tough," Fandel Said. "Once we get into the fourth quarter like we did against Central Lyon, we just have to step up."

Offensively, Fandel has been pleased with the effort.

"We're averaging about 20 points per game and in years past, that was good enough for a win," he said. "This year our defense has given up too many big plays.

"Last week, we started getting our fullback dive option working plus Andres on the outside. We had a good balanced attack.

"This week we need to sustain drives and keep Forest City's offense off the fields," he said. That's the key to be successful on Friday."



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