Who: Oskaloosa (4-0) vs Clear Creek-Amana (3-1)
Where: Clipper Stadium in Tiffin
When: Friday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Clear Creek-Amana is 3-0 against Oskaloosa since 2008 with the most recent meeting coming last season where the Clippers won 37-7. Keaton Flaherty was 14-of-31 for the Indians with 123 passing yards but the game was decided in the trenches where Osky was held to three yards per carry while CCA ran for 312 yards on a 9.8 yards per carry clip.
One key player for Oskaloosa
This is one of those games that could be decided again in the trenches and/or on special teams. A guy that has thrived for Oskaloosa in both of those areas is Dawson Braden. The senior lineman/kicker does a little bit of everything for Oskaloosa. Defensively he has nine tackles (four for loss) and two sacks along with a blocked punt. Special teams wise he has made a 25-yard field goal in the clutch and is a perfect 15-of-15 on extra points. He will need to be a force defensively on that line but his steady play on special teams could also be a boost in a close game.
Keys for Oskaloosa
District play is here and the next five games will decide the postseason fate for both of these teams after great non-district starts. Special teams have been key for both of theses teams. For Oskaloosa, they have three special teams touchdowns and have been solid in the kicking and punting game themselves. For Clear Creek-Amana, they have themselves a good kicker in Grant Kruse, who has made all four of his field goal attempts including 37-yarder. That being said, the Indians should once again have chances on special teams to flip the field and momentum which could be big on the road like last week at Keokuk. The trenches will be key as well as the Clippers have a bruiser in Gage Freeman, who leads the team in rushing, tackling and is second in receptions. Limiting Freeman’s productivity will be important for Oskaloosa. The Indian offense is averaging 35.8 points per game and the defense is yet to allow 20 or more points but they will face an offense that averages 32 points per game. Something will have to give in a big district opener for both teams.