Clarinda Football

(Clarinda) -- Clarinda football took a tough, tight loss to ACGC in Week 6, falling 14-7 in a physical battle.

The Cardinals (4-2, 0-2 1A-8) look to bounce back this week when they welcome Mount Ayr (5-1, 1-1) to town for Homecoming. Despite the loss to the Chargers, Coach Collin Bevins says he was happy with plenty of aspects of his team’s play.

“I thought our defense played really well,” he said. “Offensively, we left some plays out there that could have turned into big plays. Overall, I’m really proud of how we played and responded when we got down 14 points.”

Even in a loss, you can learn plenty about your team, your players and your program. This was a culture-type game for the Cardinals. They showed they’re willing and able to stand up to a physical downhill run game.

“I never saw our kids drop their heads at any point in this game,” Bevins said. “One thing I didn’t know coming into the season was how we were going to respond to adversity, so it was good to see how hard we played. We did a good job of battling on Friday. The cards just didn’t go our way in the end.”

The Clarinda defense appears to be in great shape at this point with another strong performance in the bag. However, the offense has struggled to find points in the last three contests, scoring just 19.

“We have to be able to pass the football,” Bevins said. “That’s one thing we haven’t been able to do here recently. We want to run the football, but we have to loosen up the linebackers. If we’re not able to do that, we’re not going to be able to put up many points. We’re working in practice with the timing of the routes, and we hope to see improvement in that in the last three weeks.”

Now it’s on to Mount Ayr. The 1969 team will be on hand to accept induction into the KMA Sports Hall of Fame, and all the other pageantry and celebratory events will make up much of the week. However, Coach Bevins wants the focus for his team to remain on one thing.

“I told the kids that we have a lot of distractions this week, but I said ultimately the one job we have on Homecoming is to win a football game,” Bevins said. “That’s what we’re trying to focus on, and if we do our job, Homecoming will be good.”

There’s really no time to focus on anything else, either. Mount Ayr brings another versatile, multiple offensive scheme to the Clarinda football field on Friday.

“They’ve got some big skill guys all over the field,” Bevins said. “We have to try to keep those guys under control. If we make them one-dimensional, that limits the things we need to worry about on our end.

“Just like last week, they throw a lot of window dressing on the plays they’re trying to run. Everybody needs to just do their responsibility. Take who we’re supposed to take whether it’s the dive man, the option or the quarterback, and it’ll show at the end.”

Trevor Maeder will be in Clarinda on Friday, providing reports and inducting the 1969 Cardinals into the KMA Sports Hall of Fame. Listen to the complete interview with Coach Bevins below.