The University of Dubuque football team can take a big step toward the Iowa Conference title when the Spartans host Wartburg in their homecoming contest on Saturday. At 5-0, Dubuque is off to its best start since 1979 and with a 3-0 record in the league they lead the field by a game.

A win over the defending champion Knights would put coach Stan Zweifel’s team in the driver’s seat. He says it’s a game they haven’t been playing in in a long time as he says Coe, Wartburg and Central have dominated the league for years and they are just trying to be mentioned in the same sentence as them.

Dubuque beat Central two weeks ago and Zweifel says the game against Wartburg gives them another chance to beat a tradition-rich program. “One of the great things about a team that is an up and coming program is it’s a chance to create a legacy and some tradition of our own,” Zweiful says, “and we’ve been talking about this week, it’s a chance to put our signature on a game where our signature hasn’t meant a hell of a lot over the last 30 years.”

Wartburg is 2-1 in the league race and needs a victory to stay in title contention. Wartburg coach Rick Willis says it would be a big step for Dubuque with a win and if his team wins, there would be four teams in the conference with one loss. He says the Knights need to find a way to slow down a Dubuque offense that is averaging more than 480 yards and nearly 45 points per game.

Willis says they have talent at quarterback and runningback and it’s hard to find a way to defend both of them. Willis says the Knights will need to play a complete game to get the win and they have not done it yet this season. He says they are still trying to be consistent in all phases of the game throughout.