By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports
Last season, the two teams scored over 90 points combined, recovered four fumbles, intercepted three passes and returned one kickoff for a touchdown in a game that was not decided until late in the fourth quarter. Two years ago, it was a one-point barnburner.
Friday will be the deciding game in a best two out of three between the high school football teams of Washington and Oskaloosa.
Two years ago, it was a 28-27 home win for Oskaloosa. Last season, it was a 51-42 home win for Washington.
?Our games against Oskaloosa the last two years have been pretty tough,? Washington coach James Harris said. ?They were amazing football games to be a part of. They got us down there two years ago on a last-minute two-point conversion. Last year, we came back after giving up back-to-back scores. It was about the team that fought the hardest the longest ended up winning.?
Both of those were district games.
This season, it is a non-district game, but it still counts under new playoff criteria.
?They are a tough and well-coached team,? Oskaloosa head coach Jake Jensen said of the Demons. ?It will be a great matchup.?
Both teams made the playoffs last season.
Both teams are looking for their first win this season.
Oskaloosa lost 51-33 to Pella Christian at Pella.
The Demons lost at home to Marion 40-14.
Pella Christian is ranked first in Class 1A by the AP. The same poll has Marion 13th in Class 3A.
?I expect an absolute battle from two tough teams,? Jensen said. ?We both are hungry for our first win and have had excellent games in the past.?
The Demons fell to a Marion passing attack that generated three touchdowns and almost 300 yards on 19 of 32 passes.
Oskaloosa?s Cole Henry was 19 of 39 passing for 206 yards with one TD and one interception. Casey Hill ran for 100 yards on 25 carries. Hill, Nikolas Dykstra, Tyler Miller and Isaac Schultz each caught at least four passes last week. Henry also caught a pass that Miller threw.
?We try to be as balanced as possible with regards to running and passing the ball,? Jensen said. ?Coach Doud, our offensive coordinator, does a great job calling the offense.?
Oskaloosa runs a spread offense and their basic defense is a 4-4-3.
?But we have a lot of variations out of it,? Jensen said.
Cole Kraber led the Oskaloosa defense last week with five tackles and a sack. Kraber, a senior, is the strong side linebacker.
?Osky is going to be prepared,? Harris said. ?They are really well coached. They have a lot of big guys returning from last year?s playoff team.?
?We will prepare the same with a focus on areas of concern from week one,? Jensen said. ?We have a lot of fixes and changes, but I?m confident we will have a great week of preparation.?