With three consecutive wins, the Spencer Tigers football team is confident.
This week – homecoming week – brings another team to town that’s found its own confidence, Denison Schleswig.
Like the Tigers (3-1), the Monarchs dropped their first game of the season to a tough team, Harlan, and have bounced back with three straight wins.
“They’re a worthy opponent,” Spencer head coach Jim Tighe said. “They’re 3-1 and they’re probably the most confident they’ve been in seven or eight years.”
Denison Schleswig has a trio of rushers who’ve contributed about 40 carries each.
Terrance Weah has 336 yards on 40 carries (8.4 yards per carry) and two touchdowns, Charlie Weibers has 233 yards on 39 carries (6.0 yards per carry) and three touchdowns, and Wyatt Kaub has 174 yards on 40 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and one touchdown.
The Monarchs have a capable quarterback, too. Charlie Wiebers has completed 28 of his 54 pass attempts for 559 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Spencer will likely lean on its own leading rushers, Isaiah Spencer and quarterback Gage Garnatz. Spencer leads the team with 628 yards and six touchdowns on 110 carries. Garnatz has rushed 47 times for 273 yards and two touchdowns.
Tighe has reminded his team throughout the week that the Monarchs believe they are capable of coming away from Spencer tonight with a win.
“I tell the guys they (Denison Schleswig) believe they can beat us, but we can’t let them keep believing that as the game goes on,” Tighe said. “That’s going to be a challenge.”
That means the Tigers have to be confident themselves.
Tighe’s made sure the team knows why they should be confident.
Yesterday, for example, the Tigers didn’t practice on the game field because of the rain that got dumped on Spencer. That knocked them off their normal routine.
“I heard one of the guys say, ‘Uh-oh, that’s our good luck routine,’” Tighe said. “I kind of looked back and I was kind of annoyed. I kind of found it comical, but I was like, ‘You know, guys, I like to think it’s not about luck. It’s about preparing. That’s what gives you confidence.”
Tighe said the team’s still been able to get outside every day this week, despite the weather, and got the work in that the Tigers needed to get better.
As for the game tonight, Tighe said the Tigers will come in confident and hope that confidence builds.
“You’ve got to play it one play at a time,” Tighe said. “I hate to be cliché, but that’s how you’ve got to do it in football and everything, I think.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Homecoming tailgate starts at 5 p.m.