Eagles open with Ridge and Valley powerhouse
The Cashton Eagles will have the chance Friday to take down the Ithaca Bulldogs, who have been undefeated in the regular season over the past three years.
Ithaca has been a regular first game match-up for Cashton for many years.
Last year’s contest was a close one, with Ithaca triumphing over Cashton by just five points (25-20) at the end of the fourth.
“(Ithaca is) a well-run program and they don’t change much,” said Eagle head coach Jared Hemmersbach. “We’re just going to have to play fundamental football Friday night to stay in the game.”
Hemmersbach said that Ithaca usually comes equipped with a pretty balanced offense – running and passing equally.
He said the Eagle defense is going to have to play aggressively to stop them.
“They’ve got a really good quarterback and some running backs that have some speed,” offered Hemmersbach. “They’re going to get us to spread and then pound it up the middle and then get us on the outside.”
Hemmersbach said Cashton will run its offense out of the Power-I formation hoping to pound the ball down the field.
“It’s a team sport and if our line does their job, then we’re going to move the ball,” he said.
This year’s Cashton squad is very young one compared to previous seasons.
According to Hemmerbach, the Eagles graduated nine starters last year and only have five players that have starting experience returning.
He doesn’t think that they are out of the running yet, though.
“One thing I will say about this team is that they believe in each other,” he said. “If we take care of the ball, stay out of trouble from a penalty aspect and don’t give up the big plays, then we’re in the game.”
The Eagles will start their 2017 campaign with a nonconference road battle against the Bulldogs in Ithaca at 7 p.m. Friday.