(Clarinda) -- The Collin Bevins era in Clarinda is off to a resounding 2-0 start. The first-year head coach has a pair of dominant wins over long-time rivals Shenandoah and Red Oak to open his coaching career.
Following their 34-6 Page County Super Bowl win in the opening week, the Cardinals came out and shut Red Oak down to the tune of a 40-0 final.
“(Week two) looked a lot better than week one,” Bevins told KMA Sports of their 40-0 win over Red Oak. “Come week two, our line was all synching together, and the running backs were hitting the holes hard. The improvement was there.”
Through two games, the Cardinals have shown plenty of balance with quarterback Michael Shull throwing for 199 yards and running back Connor Brown going for 170 yards on the ground. Defensively, Logan Green leads the team with three solo tackles for loss while Cole Ridnour has a team-best 11.5 tackles and Shull has two of the team’s four interceptions.
While much of the on-the-field characteristics have improved for the Cardinals, Coach Bevins says there’s even more to that than meets the eye.
“The confidence on the team is high right now,” Bevins said, “but sometimes you’ve got to have a reality check of a game to bring you down to Earth. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day.”
Bevins believes their Week 3 matchup with Atlantic will provide the team’s sternest test of the season.
“This week will be a good test,” he said. “We haven’t had that moment yet where we have to change the momentum in the game, and I’m really excited to see how these kids will react.”
The Trojans (1-1) have proven to have an electric ground game, led by senior Tyler Moen, who has rushed for 428 yards and five touchdowns on just 34 carries. Trying to contain his big play ability will be key on Friday.
“We’ve got to limit the big plays,” Bevins said. “That’s one way Atlantic has come out and put teams behind early. If we can limit the big plays and make them drive the field on us, we like where we’re at.”
The biggest key in trying to keep Atlantic’s big-play offense to a minimum? Discipline.
“We have to be disciplined on defense,” Bevins said. “We preach that every day in practice and since day one here. Being disciplined in what we do and don’t try to do too much. We have guys that can make plays all over the field on defense and if everybody just does their job we can be successful.”
Jesse Schraft will have the Atlantic/Clarinda game on Friday evening on our Red Oak Chrysler Football Connection Show. Full coverage starts on AM 960 and FM 99.1 at 6:20 PM. Listen to the complete interview with Coach Bevins below.