HARTINGTON - An 0-3 start to the season is not like the Cedar Catholic Trojans.
The last time Big Red lost three straight was in 2012, but it wasn’t to start the season. In 2010, the Trojans started the season at 0-4 before reeling off the next three wins. That was the last time Cedar closed out the season with a losing record, finishing 3-6.
Cedar is back home this week against a new foe — David City.
Head coach Chad Cattau says a win before heading into District play would be big for the team.
“This game is huge for us. There is no way around that. We need to get a win.”
It is not often you hear a coach say those words, but Cattau has had his fair share of success at Cedar. He says the team has been getting closer and closer to that win column since losing to BRLD 48-22 to start the season. That loss was followed by a 38-20 loss to Oakland-Craig and a 13-7 loss at Aquinas.
“We have improved ourselves each week, but haven’t been able to come out on top yet. I really believe that we can change the momentum of the season this week if we can play well and win.”
The Trojans will host the 2-1 David City Scouts. DC lost 45-43 to the Stanton Mustangs in week one before two consecutive shutouts —42-0 over Syracuse and 52-0 over Conestoga — lifted the team above .500.
David City has experience on the team’s side, with two seniors leading the offense. Will Danielson at quarterback and Justin White at tailback have led the Scouts this season.
For Cedar, the senior leadership on defense returned against Aquinas with Josh Pinkelman returning from a knee injury against BRLD.
“Josh really brings an energy and emotional leadership to this team,” said Cattau. “That is something that was missed in previous games. He is the type of player that makes everyone else around him play harder because of his leadership. We moved him around last week because of the looks we were giving Aquinas, but he will probably be more lined up at our linebacker spot this week. He only practiced one day last week so it wasn’t easy for him to play at the level needed because he hadn’t gotten the reps that other kids did.”
Pinkelman led his team in tackles as a junior, and there was a noticeable piece missing to the Trojans defense in the games he missed. With PInkelman back, expect to see a much more aggressive Trojans run defense.
Cedar has a history against Stanton and the teams are in the same district again this year. The Trojans will be able to use that week one game film between DC and Stanton to help prepare for this week. Looking at film against a familiar team can always help break things down, said Cattau.
“We took some things from that film that we feel we can take advantage of. Their quarterback is the leader of their team and he makes a lot of plays with his arms and legs. Stanton really did a decent job of trying to keep him contained and we need to do the same. It’s evident on film that they play hard and have some physical kids on their team.”
Cedar Catholic will look to take a step in the right direction on Friday night, hosting David City under the lights on Russ Hochstein Field at the Hartington Community Complex for their 2018 Homecoming game.