Coach Jason Keneway’s comments: “Things have been a little different. We’re not really used to a bye week. But we’ve kept the guys focused on the goals ahead, and this week is also homecoming, so that throws more changes into things. But the guys have had three really good practices this week and are excited to play Friday. They’re upset about the week off but are ready to go Friday.”
The lowdown: For the second year in a row, the teams are playing twice in a season. Hiawatha won both games last year.
As if things weren’t different enough this week for Hiawatha with homecoming and a bye, preparing to face a team for the second time in one season and fourth time in 54 weeks is another wild card.
“It’s a trifecta of different things that could potentially knock our focus off, but the guys have handled things really well,” Keneway said. “They understand the situation that it’s not easy to beat a team twice, especially the way Mooseheart played against us in the first half of the first game. Things looked good in the second half, and we had time with the bye week to do stuff. We’re excited after playing Marquette and playing well against them, but we want to take the next step and rattle off a few wins here.”
The Hawks lost, 35-0, at Marquette in Week 3, but were within a touchdown at halftime. Against Mooseheart, the Crusaders scored 34 points in the game’s first 16 minutes and reached a running clock 24 seconds into the third quarter.
Getting the second win against the Red Ramblers could be a key for the Hawks to finish with a winning record for the third year in a row, as well as for their second playoff berth in in three years. They still have games against Mooseheart (1-3), South Beloit (1-3) and Midland (0-4) – all teams they beat last year. That means they’d need a win against one of two teams they didn’t play last year in Walther Christian (2-2) and Rockford Christian (3-1) to reach six if they take care of business against the teams they beat last year.