Normal Community prepares for road playoff game in Chicago
Written by Leo Staudacher on November 8, 2019
NORMAL – Most seasons, a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Chicago’s south east side for a game would seem like a daunting task but for the Normal Community High School (8-2) football team, but that drive will feel short in comparison to one they took earlier in the season.
“We took a six-hour road trip to Michigan earlier in the year. So, if we could handle going six hours for that one, we can definitely handle this.” Said Ironmen head coach Jason Drengwitz. “it always presents challenges going on the road, getting mentally and physically prepared, but I know our kids are excited to go up to Gately a, historic stadium, and play an outstanding, very talented, and well coached program.”
The opponent this week for the Ironmen is The Phillips High School (8-1) Wildcats. This will certainly be a test for the Ironmen early in the playoffs, as the Wildcats have plenty of playoff experience having won the state championship in 2015 and 2017. Drengwitz knows his team will have to be solid on both sides of the ball in order to advance this week.
“On the offensive side of the ball we have to control the line of scrimmage and find a way to make some plays whether it’s in the running game or the passing game. We gotta find a way to win the special teams battle, I think that’ll be a determining factor in this game.” Said Drengwitz.” Defensively if we can find a way to make them one dimensional and limit their big plays because they have kids capable of making those big plays.”
The Ironmen will hope they can carry over their play from last week’s dominant 36-14 win over Reavis. Drengwitz feels this was the first time his team looked complete in offense, defense, and special teams which is critical they continue to play that way if they wish to keep their push to state alive.
“We were able to get a good win,” said Drengwitz, “it really started with a great approach and how our kids handled it with the tough schedule and bad weather. So how they handled it led us to playing well last Saturday.”
The Ironmen will travel to historic Gately Stadium in Chicago on Saturday to play Phillips. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00.