Wartburg Looks To Take Control Of Iowa Conference Football Race
Before the 2014 season began, Wartburg was the unanimous choice to win the Iowa Conference (IIAC) football championship. If the Knights win this weekend, they'll be in good position to defend the conference crown they won in 2013.
The lead in the IIAC will be on the line Saturday (November 1st) when Wartburg travels to Storm Lake to play conference co-leader Buena Vista. Both teams are 4-0 in the league race and the winner will have a one game lead with two remaining.
“It'll be a great challenge,” Wartburg Coach Rick Willis said. “They have a tremendous offense and, obviously, have gained a lot of momentum in the last few weeks. They've been playing very well. It's a tough road game. We'll have to do a great job of preparing and make sure we're ready to fire on all cylinders out there on Saturday.”
Buena Vista has won three of its conference games by seven points or less and is 5-2 overall.
Dating back to last season, the Beavers have won eight-straight IIAC contests. Last week, they rallied for a 44-39 victory over Dubuque.
Wartburg is 7-0 and ranked sixth in the latest Division III national poll.
Since a 24-10 loss to Coe at home on November 2, 2013, the Knights have won six-straight conference games. Last week, they thrashed arch-rival Luther 52-7.
Saturday's match-up at Buena Vista's J. Leslie Rollins Stadium will feature two high-profile offenses. The Beavers are scoring a league-best 44.5 points per contest, just ahead of Wartburg's 43.5.
The biggest difference between the teams is their defense. Wartburg is giving up only seven-and-a-half points per game in conference play, while Buena Vista is allowing nearly 35.
“They have a younger defense,” Willis said, referring to Buena Vista. “Obviously, we've been very balanced. We believe having a good offense AND a good defense, hopefully, that'll be the thing that makes a big difference for us.”
Kick-off for Saturday's game is at 1 p.m. in Storm Lake.