'Budding rivalry' between Weimar, Flatonia heats up
Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m.
When Weimar dropped down from Class 2A to Class 1A last season, it was a bit of a wake-up call for Flatonia, a neighboring town.
Though located in different counties, Flatonia (5-1, 1-0) and Weimar (2-3, 0-1) are only about 20 miles away from each other.
First-year head coach Chris Freytag calls the matchup with Weimar a "budding rivalry."
"A lot of the kids have known each other for a long time; a lot of them have played baseball or other sports together in the summer," Freytag said. "Now, we're both in 1A, and they've ended up in our district."
Almost exactly a year ago, the Weimar Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs 20-19 on Flatonia's home turf.
"They scored a late touchdown in the fourth quarter last year," Freytag said. "(Our kids) are excited - they realize a victory tomorrow would almost clinch a playoff spot and set up the game next week for a possible district title."
The Bulldogs haven't won a District 13-1A championship in 25 years, Freytag said, but that's not what the players are focused on.
With Weimar's returning starters (many of whom became acquainted with the playoffs last year), Freytag knows Flatonia will have its hands full.
"(The team is) focused on taking it one game at a time and getting another victory," he said. "All the other stuff (playoffs, district teams) will take care of itself."
Flatonia could very well capitalize on the momentum from last week's 34-7 win over Holland.
"Our offense really controlled the game," Freytag said. "There were big plays and the opportunity to take them."
Though Holland's team had the size advantage, Flatonia's speed catapulted them to a solid victory, he said.
Though one defensive starter was benched because of grade ineligibility, Freytag said his team is as healthy as ever.
Before last week's 46-6 loss to Woodsboro (6-0, 1-0), the Runge Yellowjackets were undefeated.
Coach Matt Wright said they "laid an egg."
"It was probably the worst game that I've seen since I've been here," Wright said. "We didn't do a good job of lining up directly, we turned balls over a few times, and the end result was not pretty."
This is Wright's first year as head coach, but he's been on staff for three. He said that last week was disheartening.
"Hats off to Woodsboro - they played lights out, a great game," he said. "We just played a bad one."
The silver lining, Wright said, is the loss was a "smack in the mouth" to wake up the team for harsher opponents.
"Maybe that's what we needed to make the team more aware of their district opponents," he said. "How much better, faster we need to be and to figure out what we need to do to get better."
Friday's game against Louise (0-5, 0-0) will not be an easy matchup, he said.
"They've got some good football players, some fast kids," he said. "We won in the last quarter last year, so they're going to want a piece of Runge. We expect to get their best shot."
Louise is coming off a bye week, with new head coach Oscar Castillo behind the wheel. In his first week in the position, the Hornets were shut out by Ganado 55-0.
"Tomorrow is a playoff game for us. We have to win two of the next three games to get in the playoffs," Wright said. "We have to beat Louise. It's do-or-die, and our kids know that."