The past two Iowa Conference champions collide in a key matchup in Cedar Rapids on Saturday as Coe hosts the University of Dubuque. Both teams have opened league play with a pair of wins. Defending champ Coe improved to 5-0 overall with a lopsided win over Loras.

Coe coach Steve Staker says the other games mattered, but this will be a big test for his team and he says he told them the honeymoon is over. The key for the Kohawks has been the play of a defense that ranks third in the country by giving up just over seven points per game after losing several key players from last year.

That defense will be tested by a Dubuque offense that is averaging more than 33 points per game. Even though it is only the third week of the conference race Spartans’ coach Stan Zweifel says there is a great deal riding on the outcome. “It isn’t gonna decide the championship, but it sure will have something to say who can stumble later on in the season and will keep whoever wins in first place,” Zweiful says. “It’s always nicer to be chased than be chasing.”

Zweifel says the players and coaches enjoy being a part of games like this and it should be fun.