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Warriors host Jays in Armstrong

September 20, 2012
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

ARMSTRONG - While North Union has struggled since winning the season opener against Estherville Lincoln Central, the Warriors next opponent, Gehlen Catholic of LeMars, still is seeking its first win.

The Jays opened the season with a 35-14 loss to Hinton, then lost 29-9 to Akron-Westfield, 35-7 to South O'Brien and 28-14 to Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn.

Both Gehlen Catholic and North Union will try to get on the right track as the two teams meet in Armstrong tonight.

"We're similar in that we've both played tough teams," said North Union co-coach Tom Elliott. "We don't want to go to sleep on them. They're not a team we want to overlook."

Elliott said Gehlen is a team that likes to spread out the defense and throw if they can.

Statistics bear that fact out.

Jays' quarterback Blake Wiltgen has completed 57-of-116 passes for 639 yards, with four touchdowns and seven interceptions.

"We've been working on our defensive responsibilities," said Elliott. "We need to maintain our integrity as we've struggled the last couple weeks."

Gehlen's leading rusher is Erik Willman with 164 yards on 46 carries. Wiltgen has 102 yards on 36 carries.

For the Warriors, the offense needs to step up also.

"We'd like to move the ball better than we have been and we've been trying to fix some things," said Elliott.

This season, quarterback Jacob Braddock is 17-of-46 passing for 200 yards with one touchdown and seven interceptions. Braddock also is the leading rusher. After an 112-yard effort last week in the 45-9 loss to Western Christian, Braddock has 140 yards on 41 rushes. Cody Runksmeier is second with 113 yards on 24 carries while Jake Adams has 92 yards on 20 carries and Marshall Klingenberg had 87 yards on 22 carries.

"Hopefully we'll be better prepared and be more formidable," said Elliott.



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