North Cedar head coach Clay Harrold and head coach Matt Weis of Central City joined me for the Prep Football Coaches Huddles this week.
North Cedar is out to its best start, owning a 4-0 record before this week’s game against Highland (2-1 overall). Coach Harrold discussed the starts that have seen the Knights shutout their first three opponents before their 47-7 win over Cardinal last Friday. One of those shutouts included a game against Lester-Prairie (Minn.) played at Wartburg College in Waverly on Sept. 11.
Weis guided the Wildcats to a 2-0 start and they are currently 2-2 after a bye week last week. Weis talked about the start, a bye-week in mid-season and some of the intricacies of the 8-man game.
Both coaches touched on their offensive leaders. Central City is led by quarterback Jacob Etten and Justin Kerscher. Etten has 470 yards passing with seven touchdowns, leading 8-man district 4 in yards and is tied for the lead in TD passes. Those numbers are also good for 12th and tied for eighth in the entire state. Kerscher has 534 rushing yards, averaging 6.3 yards a carry, and eight TDs. Both are top-3 8-man district four totals.
North Cedar is led by a group of talented runners. Despite an inexperienced line, according to Harrold, the Knights have four backs with more than 170 yards on the ground. Mitchell Schroeder leads the team with 316 yards (2 TDs) and quarterback Jordan Hay has 249 yards rushing on 17 carries. Donny Wachendorf, the top returner in the backfield, has 244 yards on 29 carries, including seven for touchdowns, which leads the Knights. Tyler Canfield has 174 yards rushing. Hay adds 343 yards through the air and 4 TDs each rushing and passing.
The Knights defense has been impressive, shutting out their first three foes and allowing the team to outscore opponents 162-7.
Central City plays Springville (2-2, 2-3) this week. The two programs were once combined. They now play in a rivalry game called the “Tractor Bowl” where some fans actually ride tractors to the game and park them near the field. A tractor traveling trophy exists, and Central City has won it each of the seven times it has been up for grabs.
North Cedar is out to a great start. Harrold talked about the added excitement around the program in the community and how good the team could be at the start of the season.