Focused on building more momentum for the postseason, the St. Edmond football team wraps up district action tonight by hosting Sioux Central.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.
"Our kids have really been fired up this week in practice, and everything is going good right now," said SEHS head coach Dick Tighe, who earned career win No. 397 a week ago. "If we play up to our capabilities, I think we should be just fine (this evening)."
Last Friday, the sixth-ranked Gaels (6-1 overall, 4-1 Class 1A, District 2) rebounded with a 21-7 triumph at rival Manson Northwest Webster to clinch a first-round home playoff game and at least a district runner-up finish.
Against the Cougars, SEHS registered 341 yards of total offense, including a season-high 115 through the air.
"Manson was crowding the line of scrimmage, which forced us to throw the ball," Tighe said. "I was really happy we were able to put two (touchdowns) on the board through the air. We made them back off a little (defensively) as a result. We know we're going to need a two-dimensional offense later on down the road come playoff time."
WT: Matt Remsburg, 215, sr.
WG: Teddie Harvey, 165, jr.
C: Hank Crimmins, 175, jr.
SG: Dillon Nelson, 195, sr.
ST: Jacob Salisbury, 220, sr.
SE: Landon Peed, 165, so.
TE: Hank Lentsch, 175, sr.
WB: Aaron McElroy, 165, sr.
FB: Vinnie Harvey, 225, jr.
HB: Alex Mericle, 195, sr.
QB: David Flattery, 175, sr.
DE: V. Harvey
DT: Jimmy Averill, 175, jr.
LB: T. Harvey
CB: Matt Stumpf, 160, sr.
Despite battling a sore foot, Alex Mericle continues to be the main weapon in the bruising Gael ground assault, as the senior tailback ranks third in 1A in scoring (108 points) and sixth in total rushing yards (1,172). Mericle, who gained 190 yards and a score on 36 carries in Week 7, needs just 443 yards and five more touchdowns to tie the program single-season rushing marks.
"Mericle is about the same health-wise as he was last week, but he'll be alright by gametime," said Tighe. "We can always slip (senior wingback Aaron) McElroy and his speed in (the lineup), too."
McElroy and junior fullback Vinnie Harvey have also combined for 605 yards and reached paydirt five times on the year. As a team, SEHS ranks seventh in 1A in total ground yards (2,097).
Quarterback David Flattery, another Gael senior, has thrown for 331 yards, with four endzone strikes and a pair of picks. Sophomore Landon Peed has been his favorite target, pulling down 11 catches for 230 yards and two scores.
Defensively, St. Edmond senior linebacker Teddie Harvey is fourth in 1A in tackles (107). The stifling Gael defensive unit has managed 20 takeaways - 11 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries - and allowed only 55 points this season.
"(The Rebels) run out of a quick huddle (offensive formation) like (No. 3) Emmetsburg does," Tighe said. "We have to really battle in the trenches and make them drive the length of the field."
Devin Tripp (228 totes, 1,088 yards, 13 TD) and Nathan Leer (74-414-4) form a dangerous backfield tandem for Sioux Central (3-4, 1-3), which snapped a three-game slide last Friday with a 35-0 blanking of non-district foe Okoboji. Tripp ranks eighth among all 1A rushers in yards and is tied for seventh in touchdowns.
Rebel signal-caller Parker Habben has completed just 12 of 44 passes for 242 yards, including four picks and two touchdowns. Dallas Heuton and Leer have each reeled in five grabs for 106 yards and a score.
Tripp has notched a team-high 71 stops as well for Sioux Central, who edged Pocahontas Area, 14-13, in Week 3 for its lone district win.