Off to their best start in 50 years the Upper Iowa football team prepares for this week’s homecoming contest against Augustana of South Dakota. The Peacocks are 4-0 after last week’s 37-31 win at St. Cloud State and while happy with the start coach Tom Shea says he is focused on what lies ahead.
“We’ve only played 4 games and we’ve got 7 left and we’ve got the southern half of the conference, which I think in everybody’s estimation is the strongest half. So, we’ve got our hands full week in and week out for the next 7 weeks,” Shea says.
Not only are the Peacocks winning but are doing so in exciting fashion. They scored 30 fourth quarter points to rally past Minnesota-Moorhead, posted a 27 point fourth quarter in a come from behind victory over Bemidji State and last week scored with five seconds remaining to post their first win over St. Cloud State since 1949.
“Three years ago, a lot of these ballgames they would’ve got out of hand and we wouldn’t even had been in them. Now, we come back and are winning ballgames in the fourth quarter after being down, we get tied up and come back and win with 5 seconds left in the ballgame,” Shea says. “It’s been a situation where these kids worked very hard and they believe in each other and believe in themselves. We go into ballgames believing we can win, where in the past we hoped to play well.”
The combination of success and an exciting style of play are leading to larger crowds at home games and Shea expects that to continue this weekend. He says a few years ago if the parents weren’t at the game, they didn’t have any crowd. Shea says winning brings people out and their job is to keep doing that.
Shea says the schedule gets more difficult as they enter south division play in the Northern Sun Conference. It begins against an Augustana team that is off to a 3-1 start. He says its an opponent that Upper Iowa has never beaten, and that poses a big homecoming challenge. He says they are confident and looking for good things.