The American Rivers Conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Division III playoffs will be on the line this Saturday when Wartburg visits Dubuque. Since a September 29th loss to Simpson in overtime the Knights have won four straight and are now a win away from a second straight league championship.
“We have been on a good run and playing solid football in all three phases”, said Wartburg coach Rick Willis. “That is what you have to do if you want to win a championship and that has been our goal from the start.”
Dubuque has won five straight and coach Stan Zweifel’s team will bid for its second conference title in four years. The Spartans set up this game by posting a 17-6 win at Simpson.
“We got here 10 years ago and they had not been in this position for a long, long time”, said Dubuque coach Stan Zweifel. “This is the fourth time in the last eight years we have been playing to win the conference in the last game of the season.”
Zweifel says a key for the Spartans will be playing ball control and keeping Wartburg’s high powered offense off the field. That won’t be easy against a Knight’s defense that is only giving up an average of 75 yards on the ground in conference play.
“For us to have a legitimate chance in this game we have got to be able to run the ball”, added Zweifel. “We still have got to take our shots and be able to do a little bit in the pass game but we have got to keep the ball out of their hands. Whether we will be able to accomplish that will go a long ways toward determining our success.”
It has been an entertaining season in the conference that has seen four different teams control their postseason destiny in the last three weeks.
“The way it has shaken out there is going to be a game to decide it and one team is going to win it”, added Willis. “We are excited to be a part of it and have that chance.”
Elwin Huffman from KOEL contributed to this story