By Mark Schremmer for Kpreps.com
Posted: September 28, 2012 - 1:22 AM
All it takes is looking at the scores to realize how strong Lyndon’s defense has been through the first four weeks.
The Tigers allowed only one touchdown in a 55-6 win against Mission Valley to open the season. Since then, they have pitched three consecutive shutouts against Osage City, West Franklin and Council Grove. The results are even more impressive when you realize Mission Valley’s touchdown came on a kick return to open the second half. So Lyndon’s defensive unit hasn’t allowed a point all season.
However, the Tigers also know they face their biggest challenge of the season thus far as they travel to face the Olpe Eagles in the Kpreps.com Game of the Week.
“Olpe will be the best passing team we’ve seen so far,” Lyndon head coach Rod Stallbaumer said. “They have some athletic kids who do things right.
“This is the kind of week you get excited for. It’s a good opportunity to test yourself against a playoff-caliber team. It’s the type of challenge we want. We want to see where we’re at as a team and as a program.”
The game should be a good start to district competition with the two favorites in Class 2A District 4 facing off.
Olpe lost in Week 1 to 3A’s Sedgwick, but the Eagles have rattled off three consecutive wins against Wellsville, Jefferson County North and McLouth.
With quarterback Brandon Baumgardner now healthy and Mitchell Argabright serving as a boost to the running and passing game, the Eagles’ offense is starting to click.
“Offensively, I don’t think we’ve peaked by any means,” Olpe head coach Chris Schmidt said. “We’re getting better as we go. The line is pretty young, the kids are growing. This week will be a challenge.”
Schmidt said the defense Lyndon runs is very similar to his team’s defensive scheme, which is good and bad.
“We practice against it a lot,” Schmidt said. “But the bad thing about it is we run it because we think it’s a pretty good darn defense.”
Schmidt also knows the players Lyndon has running it are pretty good as well.
“They have good team speed,” he said. “They are pretty fast all the way around. Their linebackers are awfully good, and their secondary is good, too. They fly around as a group.”
Senior Dylan Sloop leads the Lyndon defense with 10.5 sacks per game. Senior defensive tackle Dakota Jiskra has registered 4.5 sacks despite being blocked by two linemen on most plays.
While the defense deserves credit, the Tigers’ offense also has been strong. Lyndon is averaging 54.7 points per game.
Junior quarterback Joe Wash leads the offense with 658 passing yards and six touchdowns.
“Joe’s done a very good job,” Stallbaumer said. “He stepped into the quarterback role this season and has matured a lot.”
Both teams will look for a good start to the district season.
“It’s basically a new part of the season,” Schmidt said. “We’re looking at it as the playoffs. It’s not the end of the year if we lose the ballgame, but this is the point of the season where the games matter. We want to get better each week. This is a team that will show us our weaknesses. We’ll know what we need to get better at after this game.”