(Anita) -- CAM football got right on Friday night, rolling to a 68-6 win over Stanton-Essex to advance to the 8-Man Round of 16.
The Cougars (8-0) struggled in their final regular season game of the season against those same Vikings, but Coach Barry Bower says his team entered the playoff meeting with a different mindset.
“That’s what we preached all week,” he told KMA Sports. “Sometimes sports psychology can be a big momentum for some people. We stressed mentality all week. We’ve got to have the proper mindset going into a ball game.”
Junior Lane Spieker had another monster night for the Cougars in rushing for 230 yards and six touchdowns, and the defense forced three turnovers, including a pick six by Joe Kauffman.
“I thought they came out ready to play all the way around” Bower added. “It’s getting to the point in time where the kids have to focus and be ready to go. I think our kids are rearing to go. Heck, it’s fun. We’re one of the final sweet sixteen teams.”
Joining CAM in the Round of 16 on Friday night is Lamoni (7-2). The Demons rolled to a 38-13 win over Southeast Warren this past Friday evening to set up a second playoff matchup with the Cougars in the last two postseasons.
“They’ve established their run game,” Bower said. “They’ve got three guys at the point of attack that can handle the football in (Javin Evans, Logan Jones and Cael Ogier), and Javin can throw it as well.”
Evans – a junior quarterback – leads the Demons with 764 yards passing, 723 yards rushing and 32 total touchdowns this season.
“They’ve got some more guys returning from last year’s squad,” Bower said. “They definitely have experience, and we have to match their intensity just like we did last week. We’ve just go to play our game.”
Last year in the playoffs, Bower’s team rolled to a dominant 62-24 victory. This year’s game starts with tackling, according to the CAM head man.
“We’re going to have to tackle well,” he said. “If we do not tackle well then they’re going to bust some long runs on us. We’re going to have to be disciplined on the defensive side regarding gap control. They’ll use options and do some spread stuff, and we have to be prepared for the formations they’re going to put out at us.”
Adam Kiesel is in Anita on Friday night, providing reports from this 8-Man Round of 16 battle on the Red Oak Chrysler Football Connection Show. Full coverage begins on AM 960 and FM 99.1 at 6:20.
Listen to the full interview with Coach Bower linked below.