30 Iowa Conference titles
PELLA—Still looking for a win outside of Schipper Stadium, the Central College football team takes to the road for its next two games and starts with Saturday’s contest against Buena Vista University at Storm Lake.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at J. Leslie Rollins Stadium.
Records—Central is 2-3 overall and 1-1 in Iowa Conference play after running out of time for a second-half revival in a 21-18 defeat to Simpson College Saturday in Pella. Buena Vista is 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the league, giving up a 20-point second quarter at home as the Beavers fell to Wartburg College, 42-21.
The series—Central was a 33-30 comeback winner over Buena Vista in Pella last year. The Dutch overcame a 30-14 deficit by holding the Beavers scoreless in the second half and grinding out 13 points in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Kevin Sheldon (West Des Moines, Valley HS) delivered the game-winning 19-yard field goal with 2:21 remaining. Central leads the all-time series 53-11. Buena Vista last defeated the Dutch in 2003.
The Beavers—Buena Vista has endured a grueling first half of the season, facing No. 14 Wis.-Platteville, No. 7 Bethel (Minn.) and No. 22 Coe.
“They’ve had one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the league,” coach Jeff McMartin said. “The teams they’ve played have a combined record of 21-4.”
The Beavers generated a season-high 370 yards of offense against Wartburg Saturday, including 214 yards in the air.
“Buena Vista has a dangerous offense,” McMartin said. “They’re a big, physical team that wants to run the football and do a good job of it but they can also hit you with the pass.”
Sophomore Bobby Brown (6-2, 195) runs the offense at quarterback and has completed 61 of 150 passes this year for 698 yards with three touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Senior wide receiver Logan Lehrkamp (5-11, 180) has 18 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown. Senior tight end Adam Cave (6-5, 230) is listed at backup this week, but has 11 catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
“They’ve got a pair of tight ends that are really special and run good routes,” McMartin said.
Senior running back John Hill (6-1, 195) is the top target on the ground and is averaging 62.8 yards per game, ranking sixth in the league, with two touchdowns.
“He’s talented, big and carries the ball well,” McMartin said.
Senior middle linebacker Nick Plueger (6-0, 210) is the league’s tackle leader with 73, averaging 14.6 per game. Junior outside linebacker Brady Randall (6-2, 225) has 60 stops, good for third in the league, and has three tackles for loss.
“They’ll fly around on defense,” McMartin said. “Their linebackers are very good and their two defensive ends are really playmakers for them. The defensive line does a good job disguising things and their d-backs are solid.”
Buena Vista is averaging 95.8 yards rushing and 139.6 yards passing. The Beavers are yielding 265.6 yards on the ground and 219.8 yards in the air. The squad doesn’t waste opportunities, scoring on 80 percent of its chances in the red zone.
“They’ll be tough,” McMartin said. “It’s their homecoming and they’re a hungry football team.”
Bouncing back— Central has experience rebounding after a defeat. The Dutch have twice edged opponents after a loss with big plays in the fourth quarter this season.
Central, which was held scoreless in the first half against Simpson, will work to get scores early Saturday.
“We need to try and get some things established right off the bat offensively,” McMartin said.
Special teams will be key.
“We never really had a great starting field position against Simpson,” McMartin said. “We kick and punt well but we’re not where we need to be with returns and with coverage.”
The Dutch will also focus on converting third downs. Central is 29-72 this year (40 percent).
“We need to get better on third downs and we can’t give up long drives,” McMartin said.
But Central aims to improve in each area.
“Our goal is to get better every week at everything we do,” McMartin said.
Next man in—The young Dutch are bearing one of their most injury-laden seasons, with many top performers either sidelined or playing with limitations. The defense has taken the biggest hit with five starters falling out of the lineup at some point this year.
“We’re going to have injuries every season,” McMartin said. “The players that are in are giving a good effort and getting experience. We’re seeing positive things.”
Saturday’s two-deep has some new faces to help fill the void. Senior Christian Rich (Vinton, Vinton-Shellsburg HS) switched from s-back to defensive end and has three tackles. Former wide receiver Jaemin Powell (freshman, Wellman, Mid-Prairie HS) is listed as the back-up strong safety. He made six tackles against Simpson, including four solo stops. Senior Trent Heetland (Ackley, AGWSR HS) moved to cornerback from wide receiver
Freshman Mike Barrett (wide receiver, Kansas City, Mo., Liberty North HS) replaces quarterback Brendon Boerm (freshman, Traer, North Tama HS) as the backup punt returner. Barrett also took over Heetland’s spot in the two-deep at receiver and is joined by back-up receiver Grant McArdle (senior, Red Oak, Stanton HS).
QB 6 Brendon Boerm (fr., 6-0, 180)
or 9 Aaron Eiseler (so., 6-0, 195)
RB 30 Ross Doehrmann (sr., 6-0, 205)
SB 41 Austin Shaver (so., 5-11, 215)
TE 2 Jack Norgaard (so., 6-3, 220)
WR 12 Ben Lechtenberg (sr., 6-6, 225)
WR 18 Blaine Forsythe (so., 6-1, 195)
LT 73 Travis Hook (jr., 6-3, 260)
LG 50 Ryan Collins (so., 6-0, 235)
C 67 Anthony Wolf (sr., 6-1, 275)
RG 56 Colton Smith (sr., 5-10, 255)
RT 63 Matt Schrafel (6-2, 260, jr.)
DE 15 Danny Samson (jr., 5-11, 250)
NG 54 Brody Janssen (so., 6-1, 230)
DE 5 Jack Shipley (jr., 6-2, 235)
OLB 22 Mike Young (jr., 5-11, 190)
ILB 23 Seth Carson (jr., 6-1, 240)
ILB 51 Andrew Weaks (sr., 6-2, 220)
OLB 45 Luke Geneser (jr., 6-0, 215)
CB 10 Eric Larson (so., 6-1, 175)
SS 40 Jacob Tune (so., 6-1, 190)
FS 33 Jake Edelman (jr., 6-0, 175)
CB 7 Spencer Boeyink (so., 6-0, 175)
KO 16 Kevin Sheldon (so., 5-11, 170 )
PAT/ 16 Kevin Sheldon (so., 5-11, 170 )
H 21 Trent Heetland (sr., 5-11, 180)
P 18 Blaine Forsythe (so., 6-1, 195)
PR 7 Spencer Boeyink (so., 6-0, 175)
KR 28 Josh Osborn (so., 5-8, 195)
LS-P 22 Mike Young (jr., 5-11, 190)
LS-FG 73 Travis Hook (jr., 6-3, 260)