Football: Week 5 preview
By BRANDON HURLEY
WEEK 5 BREAKDOWN
Who: Greene Co. (0-4) vs. Iowa Falls-Alden (1-4)
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in Iowa Falls
Last meeting: IF-A won, 28-13 in 2016
Keys to the game: Can Greene County finally pick up a win with the aide of their new found run game? Will they be able to shake off a tough opening schedule?
The players nor coaching staff may not admit it, but the schedule gets a little easier from here on out.
First up, the Iowa Falls-Alden Cadets (1-4, 0-2) in Greene County’s week five matchup.
After playing back-to-back ranked opponents and four teams with a combined record of 14-2 to start the year, the Rams welcome a softer schedule with just one of their final five opponents featuring a winning record.
IF-A has lost four straight games after winning their season-opener, and is winless in district 2 play, having lost 49-20 to Gilbert in week 4. The Cadets have lost their last three contests by a total of 106 points, giving up an average of 42 points over that span.
On that notion, a Greene County offense that is struggling itself, must get on top early and build a lead Friday.
“We have to press the needle a little, Greene County head coach Mitch Moore said. “We have to try to score right away, not that we aren’t always trying to score. But we have to take some chances, throw the ball downfield and get a lead so we can get that momentum.”
IF-A features a balanced offensive attack, averaging 98 pass yards per game and 124 rush yards per game. They deploy a three-running back system, with three athletes having rushed over 120 yards.
Dual-threat quarterback Tylon Ross has tallied almost 600 yards of total offense (583 yards, five TDs), and should be a point of emphasis for the Greene County defense.
“Offensively, they have a guy (at the quarterback), that can move around a little bit,” Moore said. “They are going to pass and run about 50-50. They will run a little more. Some of their guys on the offensive line have good size.”
Though the Cadets are trudging through a rough season, Moore expects a tough challenge on Iowa Falls-Alden’s homecoming. The long road trip presents a unique obstacle as well.
“There is some history in Iowa Falls, we are expecting a big crowd,” Moore said. “It’s a long road trip for our guys. It’ll be a different challenge. And if you’re a competitor, you want to play someone on their homecoming, it’s fun.”
Defensively, the Cadets will deploy a cover three defense which Moore feels his offense can exploit. But not if the correct reads aren’t made and mistakes are held to a minimum.
“It’s about us executing our plays. We’ve had some times in the last few weeks where we’ve had miscommunications, we’ve dropped the ball or fumbled the ball,” the coach said. “This week, we can’t worry as much about our opponent as getting better.”
Watching film of their next opponent, Moore is confident his guys have learned enough from a tough month’s worth of opponents to come out on top and take what the defense gives them. The key will be pressing the tempo in practice.
“It’s week five, we’ve seen those looks before and we are more confident,” the coach said. “We just have to continue to execute really well in practice and play with a little more tempo in practice so it’s not so much different on Friday.”
Moore expects his guys to zero in on Iowa Falls-Alden well before they make the hour-and-a-half trek north. The game plan starts on the bus. He wants his guys playing with a laser sharp focus.
“When we get off the bus in Iowa Falls, we have to be completely locked in,” the coach said. “We can’t be thinking about anything else. We have to warm up with a great attention to detail. You can’t warm up too intense so you’re tired during the game. You can’t warm up with an idea of this isn’t this game. We have to perfect those little processes.
When the game starts, we have to be ready to play.”
Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at the IF-A high school field in Iowa Falls.