The past two years Estherville Lincoln Central has had Algona's number-but not by much.
In 2010, ELC built the Bulldogs 19-7. In 2011, the Midgets won by a touchdown, 14-7.
"They'll be a hard-nosed team," said ELC coach Chuck Fandel of Algona. "Last couple years, we've been just a touchdown apart. So we'll have to stay away from a costly turnover and come up with a couple turnovers to come out on top."
Derek Nieland (3) and the Estherville Lincoln Central Football Team looks for its first win of 2012 as the team travels to Algona tonight.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Algona coach Eric Bormann, now in his second season with the Bulldogs, says his team has a lot of experience.
"We have guys in positions they weren't a year ago," he said.
Of the offensive starters, Bormann said 10 of the 11 didn't see significant varsity playing time last year. On the defensive side, the numbers are eight of 11.
"We need to get come confidence early in the game," Bormann said.
The Bulldogs are coming off a season where they, like ELC, posted a 1-8 record.
Algona opened the season with a 29-0 loss to Forest City, a team coming off its first district title after winning Class 2A District 3 in 2011.
"I thought we came out of the blocks a little tentative," said Bormann of the opener. "Our defense got better as the game went on and we became more sound in our technique. Offensively, our line also gained confidence as the game went on."
Looking to ELC, Bormann expects the Midgets' defense to be key.
"Watching film the defense flows real fast to the ball," he said. "It's a typical ELC team. They have a couple good backs and their quarterback looked impressive on film. We need to be smart with our pursuit."
Bormann said his team pursuit was a little over-aggressive against Forest City and that allowed the Indians to have success.
Algona rushed for 78 yards on 26 attempts. Senior Sawyer Frideres led that effort with 53 yards on 13 carries.
Passing, Weston Shaw was 2-of-10 for 7 yards and one interception.
Forest City rushed for 230 yards on 48 attempts against the Algona defense. Forest city also used the pass well with senior Tate Thompson completing 5-of-65 for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
ELC rushed for over 100 yards in its first game against North Union, but Fandel would like to see more on the ground. His offensive line has been working this week.
"We haven't had a lot of contact because of the weather, but we're definitely trying to make sure they understand their blocking schemes," he said. "We have gotten acclimated to the heat."