HARTINGTON - A top ten matchup comes to Russ Hochstein Field on Friday night as undefeated teams Randolph and Hartington-Newcastle face off.
Both teams are ranked in the Lincoln Journal Star, with Randolph sitting rated eighth, one position better than HNS.
The Wildcats moved down to Class D2 this season, and Randolph is poised ready to great them to the District.
It should be an offensive battle, with each team averaging around 50 points per game.
The Cardinals have shown danger by committee out of the backfield, while the Wildcats have shown a balanced offense.
Randolph quarterback Carter Schnoor leads his team with 181 yards through the air and 130 on the ground through three games. He is joined by Noah Scott and Alex Schmit in the backfield.
Randolph has shown a consistent running threat no matter who is touching the ball this season. Last week against Pender, Randolph won 68-8 with five different players rushing for seven touchdowns.
Hartington-Newcastle had a bye last week, and coach Corey Uldrich hopes the extra week can be used to the team’s advantage.
“I thought we used the bye week to get better and grow together as a team. We had the opportunity to do some things together that a normal week does not allow.”
Uldrich went on to say that Randolph has a dynamic eight-player team, with experienced players at all levels on offense and defense.
“Randolph has some great players, led by running back and defensive end, Noah Scott,” said Uldrich. “Their line is led by senior guard and defensive end Avery Bermel, and junior quarterback and safety Carter Schnoor is a dynamic playmaker. They have solid players at all eight spots on the field.”
Hartington-Newcastle has plenty of experience on the field as well, except for on the offensive line. At skill positions, the Wildcats have Shaye Morten, Ethan Koch, Lincoln McPhillips, and Turner Korth all returning from last year. Kobe Heitman also joins the team as a running back this year.
The HNS line though has one returning starter after two seniors graduated. Dylan Dendinger has led the line on both sides of the ball and will be asked to again on Friday night.
Hartington-Newcastle may have an advantage with it being Homecoming week.
“Homecoming helps build up the game atmosphere, and it usually brings back fans who may only see one game all year,” said Uldrich. “We’re excited that this game is going to have that extra hype, and we’ll do everything we can to stay focused and in the moment.”
Cardinals vs. Wildcats in Hartington on Friday night will leave one undefeated team standing. Will it be run heavy Randolph or the balanced offense of Hartington-Newcastle?