After a close district battle at midseason, Clarksville and Janesville will hit the field tonight in their first-ever postseason meeting, and the winner will head to the 8-player semifinals for the first time. Clarksville coach Clint Hospodarsky says after a three-hour drive to Preston on Monday, tonight’s 20-minute drive will be a welcome change.
Hospodarsky says that makes it almost a home game for them as they have a feeling for what it is like to play there. The sixth-rated Indians took home a 33-21 win back in Week 6, thanks to a 21-point surge in the second quarter.
Hospodarsky says his team kept the pressure on the Wildcats with a strong second half as well after they had scored. He says they were able to contain Janesville in the second half defensive battle.
While Clarksville comes in with a school-record 11-1 mark, Janesville boasts a 9-2 record that includes two wins over district champ Northeast Hamilton. The Wildcats broke free from a one-point halftime deficit in Monday’s win over the Trojans, and head coach Travis Miller says a big key to the game was figuring out quarterback Marcus Mechaelsen.
Miller says Northeast Hamilton must have been on edge after having been beaten at their place in the first game and they were able to play great defense to stop Mechaelsen.
Miller says the Janesville community will be rallying around its football team tonight after the loss of 11-year-old Justin Bradfield in a bus accident on Monday. He says Bradfield was a “fine young man” who comes from a great family and his parents will walk out during the coin toss. He says they hope to provide a boost to the community without overshadowing what happened to him.
The two schools are also Iowa Star Conference rivals in other sports, and with both schools’ first trip to the UNI-Dome on the line, Miller says tonight’s game will be historic no matter who wins. He says everyone will be excited in both communities and whichever team wins will do well at the UNI-Dome.
The winner plays either Adair-Casey or Murray on Thursday in Cedar Falls.
By Austin Draude KLMJ Hampton