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Power takes on power

No. 4 Crusaders to challenge No. 5 Wheelers in heavyweight district 8 battle

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Coon Rapids-Bayard running back, Jeffrey Eagle (center) powers through the arm tackles of Woodbine defenders Caleb Wakehouse (right) and Lane Pryor (13) during a scoring play in a Sept. 13 game against Woodbine.

If there can be a sold-out game in high school football, then this week’s sellout would most definitely be in Audubon.

On Friday night two of the top teams in 8-player district 8, and two of the top teams, if you believe Associated Press voters, will be on the field as the No. 4 Coon Rapids-Bayard Crusaders put their 5-0 record on the line against the No. 5 ranked Audubon Wheelers, who are 5-1 this season.

While this could be a game that decides the district 8 title, both team both have CAM remaining on their schedule. So the winner of this week’s game can’t win the district title on Friday night, but the winner will be much better off in the long run.

“We just need to continue to get better this week in practice by pushing ourselves to work harder then our opponents,” Chris Mohr, the head coach for CR-B said. “The Wheelers have a lot of good players and are a well-coached team.”

Both teams come into the game with an attack that features some of the best 8-player running teams in the state. Coon Rapids-Bayard leads all other 8-player schools with 2,045 yards on the ground. They average nearly nine yards per carry and have scored 36 rushing touchdowns.

Doing most of the scoring this year is Jeffrey Eagle, the state of Iowa’s leading rusher who has 1,277 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.

Audubon isn’t afraid to run the ball either. The Wheelers are currently ranked 10th in terms of running the ball with 1,437 yards on the ground, 28 rushing touchdowns and just over six yards per carry.

Wheeler quarterback, Skylar Schultes has 920 yards of offense with 16 touchdowns. He ranks 11th in the state of Iowa in terms of rushing the ball. Behind Schultes there is also Ethan Klocke (166 yards) and Gavin Smith (130 yards) who can move the ball on the ground.

Audubon is more of a balanced team. They have passed for over 800 yards with 13 touchdowns on the season, and just two interceptions.

A pair of Klockes, Ethan and Joel, lead the Wheelers in receiving. Together they have over 500 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

The Crusaders have completed seven passes this year for three touchdowns and 144 total yards.

Behind Eagle rushing the ball is quarterback Peyton Clipperton who has run for exactly 400 yards this year with eight scores.

It is clear that both teams can move the ball and score. So the difference of this week’s game will come down to defense.

In their five games this season the Crusaders have held their teams to an average of just under 22 points per game.

Audubon is a touch better having held their opponents to just over 21 points per game this season. However that stat line does include a week two and a week five shutout. Audubon’s only loss on the season is a one-point game to current No. 2 ranked Remsen St. Mary’s.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Audubon.

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