Who: Pella (2-3, 1-0) vs No. 4 (4A) Xavier (4-1, 1-0)
Where: Pella High Stadium in Pella
When: Friday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
These two have split their four meetings since 2014. Pella won in 2014 and 2016 with Xavier winning the previous two meetings in 2017 and 2018.
One key player for Pella
Let’s give some shine to special teams. Pella has a good one Luke Hardman, the sophomore kicker/punter who is a perfect 14-of-14 on extra points and 4-of-7 in his field goal attempts including a 51-yarder. Xavier is coming off a shutout win against Cedar Rapids Washington and shown that their defense can halt drives quickly. Whether it is punting to flip field positioning or a drive stalling in plus territory to set up a field goal try, Pella will look to Hardman to come up big in those situations if the Dutch are going to pull off the upset.
Keys for Pella
Another week, another ranked opponent for the Dutch. This time they will try to pull off the upset for their homecoming against the Saints. Can Pella get into a position to win in the fourth quarter. In their two wins this year, the Dutch defense has been huge in the fourth quarter. The rushing trio of Aidan Pollock, Nolan Clayberg and Blake Meyer will have a tough test in running against this Xavier front but if they can break through and keep this a game going into the fourth quarter then they can dig in on defense. Neither team has forced a lot of turnovers this season, will that change this week and prove to be the swinging point in the game?