Michael Turner & Eli Marsh, Tri-Center.jpg

Michael Turner & Eli Marsh, Tri-Center

(Neola) -- After a Week 1 loss to Underwood, the Tri-Center Trojans have pulled off two impressive wins including a 56-30 victory over Missouri Valley last Friday.

Head Coach Ryan Schroder says the big win comes at the right time as his 2-1 squad gears up for a Class A District 8 matchup against Radio Iowa's sixth-ranked Logan-Magnolia.

"We knew we had to come and jump on them early, that's what we talked about all week in practice," Schroder said. "We just came out and played real physical right out of the gate, and marched down the field and got an early score, and I think that set the tone of the game."

Senior running back Brecken Freeberg was the man with a plan on Friday earning himself the AgriVision Equipment Group Player of the Night award.

"First and foremost, he's a worker," Schroder said. "Going into the season, he continues to work and loves the game of football, so we know every time he steps on the field he's going to give us everything he's got. He's a big part of what we do both offensively and defensively."

Freeberg was able to pound the rock for over 230 yards, and amassed six total touchdowns on the night. The senior also happened to lead his team in total tackles with six.

Along with Freeberg, Schroder says his entire senior class has been huge this season, which he says is an added bonus they didn't have last year.

"That's been the biggest change from last year, is the senior group," Schroder said. "Their leadership and their drive has been phenomenal. We have a lot of fun at practice, but when it comes down to it, and it's time to get serious, the seniors step up and make sure everyone is on the right page."

Eli Marsh, Jaxon Johnson, Jaxyn Valadez, as well as Freeberg have all found ways to contribute and lead the team this season.

While the senior group has stepped up, Schroder says a number of juniors, and underclassmen have also left their mark through the first few weeks of the season, including quarterback Michael Turner.

"We moved him into that quarterback spot and he's been really big for us, and also playing safety," Schroder said. "Holden Skow, we call him our lockdown corner, and we put him on the opposing team's best guy and let him take care of business. They're both juniors but they've both been phenomenal."

Landon Ward at left tackle was another name Schroder says has been stepping up bigtime on the Trojan offense.

Turning the attention to this week's matchup against the Logan-Magnolia Panthers, Schroder says while you know what they're bringing it's still tough to stop.

"They're going to be double tight, and run the ball down your throat, and be aggressive on defense, and blitz a lot," Schroder said. "They're smash mouth football, they're going to come after you, and it's going to come down to who wants it the worst."

Senior running back Gavin Maguire has been the lead back for the Panthers and totaled 176 yards on 22 carries in last week's win over Westwood totaling four touchdowns on the ground as well.

Schroder says penalties will need to be lower this week if the Trojans want a chance to win after giving up over 100 penalty yards last week. However, Schroder says it ultimately will be about being more physical.

"Just come out and be physical with Logan, because that's what they're going to bring to the table," Schroder said. "We got to try and run the ball to open up our passing game a little bit, and we got to be able to contain them and hopefully keep them in the box. It's going to be a fight for sure."

The Panthers also took down a Kuemper Catholic team in Week 1 40-14. The Trojans welcome the Panthers to Neola for their homecoming performance at 7:00 on Friday. You can hear the full interview with Ryan Schroder below.

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