When the new districts came out in March, most people familiar with the teams in Class 3A District 3 immediately pointed to October 27th on the calendar and the match-up between Clear Lake and Waukon. Well, both teams have lived up to the expectations, with both teams coming into tonight’s game at Lions Field with 8-and-0 overall records and being 6-and-0 in the district.
Second-ranked Clear Lake clinched their ninth straight playoff berth last week with a 40-8 win over Crestwood. Zane Zirbel led the Lions in that game with 232 yards passing, earning him INS-Football Friday Night player of the week honors in Class 3A.
Clear Lake coach Fred Wieck says Zirbel continues to improve every week and throws the ball well. Wieck says part of that is because they run the ball well and while he says he’s not crazy about throwing the ball, he’ll do what it takes to win.
Zirbel’s favorite target in the Crestwood game was Sean McChesney. The junior had 159 yards receiving and three touchdowns in that game, and for the season has rushed for 317 yards on the season. Wieck says McChesney has been a big key to the success of the club as he is fast and explosive.
Wieck knows Waukon will come in and give the Lions their biggest test of the season as he says they have a great rushing game and a good passing game. Wieck says they like to run, but when they throw they’ve hit over 50-percent of their passes.
Waukon qualified for the playoffs for the second time in school history with a 44-0 win over Forest City last week. Indians coach Tom Oppelt says veteran quarterback Vaughn Gesing and fullback Colin Egan lead the way for the Waukon offense. Oppelt says Waukon’s highly-touted offensive line is second to none in Class 3A. He says it’s the best offensive line he’s ever coached.
Oppelt says his team knows Clear Lake will be a challenge as they do a great job offensively running the ball and have numerous weapons. Oppelt says they’re worried about containing the speed.