DYERSVILLE - With their home field almost under water due to all the locally heavy rain in the last week and completely unplayable, Midland officials knew they weren’t going to be able to host their scheduled game with Central Elkader Friday, Sept. 11.
That left the Eagles scrambling for sites, and they eventually settled in Dyersville Saturday, Sept. 12, playing on Beckman’s beautiful turf field, yet still in rainy, wet conditions.
“I have to thank Beckman for allowing us to play in their beautiful stadium and letting us get this game in,” said Midland football coach Lennie Miller, as his team overcame a bit of a slow start and rolled past the Warriors claiming a 78-12 decision.
“Overall, our goal coming into the game wasn’t to pay any attention to the scoreboard but to just our execution and effort all game long. For the most part, I thought we were able to do exactly that. Our blocking execution was a lot better in this game than it was last week against Tripoli, and defensively we were solid as usual.
“I think we’re going to be a defensive-minded team this year. Each of the first two games we’ve been led by our defense and I think we’re only going to keep getting better and stronger on that side, too.”
The Midland (1-1) offense wasn’t too shabby either against Central Elkader, taking the opening drive of the game and marching 12 plays into the end zone culminating with an Iziek Soper 12-yard touchdown run.
The Eagles would never lose the lead the rest of the way.
The Warriors answered the Midland score with one of their own on their opening drive but after a missed two-point conversion try, Midland led 8-6.
The Eagles added another first quarter touchdown when quarterback Carson Hunter found Jamisen Dodge open for a four-yard pass play, and at the first horn the hosts on the scoreboard led 14-6.
From there, the rout was on.
Cayden Miller tallied two second-quarter touchdowns while Caden Ballou picked off a Warrior pass and raced three-yards and into the end zone for yet another score.
After Soper scored his second touchdown of the game with 2:07 left in the half, Midland had a commanding 46-12 lead at the break.
“We were pretty much able to do just about anything we wanted in the run game,” said Miller, as his rushing attack accounted for 324 yards in the game.
“Iziek is so incredibly fast and athletic for his size and is so tough to bring down, especially when he gets a head of steam. Cayden was a workhorse against Elkader. We asked him to pound the rock and that’s exactly what he did.”
Coming out of the half the Eagles took right over where they left off as Soper tallied his third touchdown to get things started before Kole Michaud added a big 28-yard scoring scamper to push the Midland lead to 62-12.
Jake Arnell added a seven-yard touchdown run with seven-seconds left in the third before Miller emptied his bench in a final frame that saw quarterback Owen Sterk complete a 13-yard touchdown toss to Shayden Hansen.
“We played the game in the rain and mist pretty much all the way through and as we walked off the field, the sky opened up and the sun finally came out,” said Miller, as the game kicked-off at 10 a.m.
“It was a little tougher playing 8-player (80-yard) football on a 100-yard, 11-player field, but we were able to make the adjustments. It was a fun day all the way around. We were able to do some things and get some confidence going forward. We’ve got some pretty tough games ahead.”
Cayden Miller led the Midland ground game rushing for 128 yards while Soper added 96 more.
Soper was also all over the field defensively, coming up with a team-high 14 tackles while Ballou and Zain Sauer tallied 11 more each. Jensen Orr chipped in with nine tackles.