Wartburg hopes to create chaos in the American Rivers Conference race when the Knights host 20th ranked Central. Wartburg is one of four teams at 3-1 in the league race while Central is 5-0 and would take command with a victory.
“If we want to have any chance of being a championship team this is a game we have to have”, said Wartburg coach Rick Willis. “This has a championship type feel to it for sure. Obviously there are games to be played after it but this is going to go a long way toward determining a lot of things in the conference race.”
One of the key matchups will be a versatile Central rushing attack that averages 196 yards per game against a Wartburg defense that gives up only 68 yards on the ground per contest.
“They have a lot of team speed on defense and really move around,” said Central coach Jeff McMartin. “One thing they do really well is they get off blocks. That’s the sign of a good defense. When you don’t stay blocked it’s a sign of good football players who are well-coached.”
Wartburg overpowered Central 44-20 at Pella last year and has won four of the teams’ last five meetings. The Dutch were winners in 2016 and hold a 43-23 advantage in the all-time series, which started in 1945. Central hasn’t won at Waverly since 2009.