The Early Lead: ‘It’s time to turn the page’
By BRANDON HURLEY
The honeymoon – and brutal schedule – is over and it’s time for the Greene County football team to pick up some victories.
Here they sit, heading into week five, still winless in the Mitch Moore era, with four losses against four incredibly teams.
As the schedule loosens up, the Rams must sharpen their focus and pull out some wins in a now – outside of next week’s tilt against No. 10 Boone – favorable final stretch of the season.
Greene County’s first four opponents are a combined 14-2, the remaining five teams the Rams will face are a much more pedestrian, 8-13, with that count distorted by Boone’s 4-0 mark. Four of the Rams’ final five opponents have only won a single game.
The week five matchup with Iowa Falls-Alden is the Rams’ best opportunity to date for the elusive win. On paper, these squads are fairly-evenly matched, each suffering several blowout defeats, with confidence dwindling.
The players know it, and the Greene County coaching staff certainly knows that a victory this week will go a long way, short term and long term. That milestone, first win of the new era is long overdue, and the players and community surely deserve it.
And a loss, well, that could mean potential for a winless season is there.
Head coach Mitch Moore is pushing his guys to expect a win. There’s no other option, this week. Gone are the days of “improvement” and “Good try, good efforts.” He wants his guys to come out with a fire and get a W.
There are no moral victories in the Greene County locker room. They aren’t big underdogs this week.
“As I told them after the game, there’s no more pats on the butt for competing hard and playing hard,” Moore said. “This is sports, it doesn’t matter, you should always compete hard.”
In Moore’s eyes, this road tilt with Iowa Falls-Alden is a ‘must win.’ The Cadets (1-4) have lost four straight – they won their week 0 game against South Hardin –, they’ve been blown out, and embarrassed at times. The opportunity is there. Time to end the four-game losing streak, eliminate thoughts of a winless season and put the brutal opening month behind them.
“We have to now find a way to win a football game. Our kids get that,” the coach said. “They understand the message I’m trying to give them that we have to turn the page now and win some football games. We have to be focused on winning.”
Yes, this is still a young team, with an incredibly young secondary. So of course, as we’ve discussed perviously, there are going to be some growing pains. But when the chance is there for a rare victory, the Rams must seize it. You have to reach a point when physical progress must be established.
And heck, there’s still time for some big things to occur.
The season isn’t even half over yet, statistically, the Rams still could end up with a winning record with five games remaining.
To that, the Greene County coaching staff isn’t hiding their expectations this week either, it’s triumph or bust. Time to get in the win column.
Iowa Falls-Alden is averaging 18 points per game and has allowed 36 or more points three times this year. They are a wounded team, ripe for a strike.
“Our leaders have to step up now more than ever. I told them, this is a must win game, and I don’t know if that’s the right or wrong thing to do,” Moore said. “We need to go in and approach it as such. We’ve got an opportunity to play a team that’s not ranked. And if we are who we think we are, we’ve got to match our potential.”
On to the picks...
Ken Mooney of Jefferson placed first overall in week four of the Bee’s weekly football contest picking 12 correct games out of 15. Dick Lziesin of Guthrie Center placed second with a 12-3 record, winning the tie-breaker. Dana Fink of Perry came in third with a 12-3 record.
I went 10-5 last week and stand at 47-17 for the year.
Let’s see how I do this week.
1. Ballard at Webster City
2. Dallas Center-Grimes at Perry
3. Gilbert at Boone
4. Greene County at Iowa Falls-Alden
5. Carroll at Winterset
6. ADM at Harlan
7. Penn State at Iowa
8. TCU at Oklahoma State
9. Oklahoma at Baylor
10. Rutgers at Nebraska
11. Washington at Colorado
12. USC at Cal
13. UCLA at Stanford
14. Hawaii vs. Wyoming
15. MSU at Georgia
16. Auburn at Missouri