As far as non-conference games go this one in Forreston Friday should be a very entertaining one. 4-0 Aquin will take on 3-1 Forreston in our Sports Connection Game Of The Week.
This is another in a string of challenging games for Forreston. The last three weeks they’ve faced Le-Win, Dakota and EPC. Now it’s the unbeaten Bulldogs in their path.
“It’s been pretty fun. We were thinking about it this four-week stretch might be harder than any playoff series we’ve had of four tough opponents right in a row,” says Forreston coach Denny Diduch.
Aquin’s opponents so far have a combined record of 5-11. So this is where the Bulldogs find out how good they truely are.
“This is the defending state champions, so this is definitely a benchmark,” says Aquin coach Troy Barr. “This is a team we have to play against and say, ‘OK if we want to be at that caliber how are we?”
Aquin and Forreston haven’t played each other in football since the first week of the 2006 season, but the guys have competed against each other in other sports.
“They’re a big school and they’re a tough school to beat and their record shows it,” says Aquin receiver/linebacker Cooper Arndt. “They lost to Lena, but Lena’s a tough school too. I think it’s going to be a great challenge to face these guys.”
Despite being 4-0 the Bulldogs have been shifting players around to different positions trying to find the best fit. And they’ve started slowly in games. They can’t afford that this week. The Bulldogs will have to rely heavily on their spread passing game to counteract Forreston’s physical style.
“One of the biggest things is we’re going to have to spread them out and not so much because we think we can exploit something but quite honestly to survive,” says Barr. “They’re a much bigger team. A faster team.”
Forreston’s defense has uncharacteristically given up some big plays this year. That’s a concern against Aquin and its big-play passing attack led by quarterback Jonah Diemer. He has already passed for 13 touchdowns.
“He’s petty elusive. He’s got quick feet. He’s fast. We’ve really got to crack down on him,” says Forreston nose tackle Skylar Regez.
“It’s their offense,” says Diduch of Aquin’s spread. “The best thing we can compare it to is like a Stark County that we’ve played here three years in a row. You’ve got two good football teams. I think it’s going to be a high-scoring game.”
Catch the highlights Friday night at 10 p.m. on WTVO 17 and again Saturday on the half hour Sports Connection (11 a.m. on Fox 39 and at 10:30 a.m. on MyNetwork TV Ch. 17.2 over-the-air and Channel 427 on Comcast Cable).