Eleva (WQOW) — It’s week nine of the high school football season, as some are fighting to keep their seasons alive. In the Dairyland, Eleva-Strum and Cochrane-Fountain City are two of them, that will face off Friday night for a playoff berth.
Both teams are 3-2 in conference play, and with a win would be over .500 in conference and secure a spot in the postseason. The Cardinals have won three of their last four games, with their only loss to a tough Melrose-Mindoro team 26-20 in week eight. They’ve been playing well in the second half of the season, and hope it carries over to tomorrow.
“It took some time in the beginning to figure out where pieces were going to play,” say head coach Chad Hanson. “We moved some kids around, and then it took a little bit of time to get them to mesh together. And the last four weeks, we started playing much better as a team offensively and defensively.”
A big part of the success is senior quarterback Ryan Johnson who leads the team in both passing and rushing yards.
“A whole new feeling from last year,” says Johnson. “Last year we were playing to give it our all in our last game, and obviously this may be our last home game, so we’re going to give it our all this year. But it’s just a different type of feeling that we’re getting just because there’s potential to go farther.”
Friday night’s game against C-FC will mean more though than just the final score. For the 6th straight season, Eleva-Strum is holding their “Tackling Cancer” night. They’ll wear pink jerseys to honor those who have been affected by cancer in one way or another. It’s an overall special night for the Cardinal football program and the community.
“We’ve had multiple teammates and players that have been affected by this,” says Johnson. “And I know they’re going to step up and play for those ones that they’ve lost or been affected by it. We’re all going to be by their side and help them.”
“It’s a focal point for our program. It’ something that we play the game in October or late-September, and then all year long we try and make a point to go out and help those people that are being affected by cancer,” added Hanson. “It’s our purpose of playing football that goes beyond just the score at the end of the game.”
The Cardinals and Pirates will kick-off at 7:00 P.M. Friday night in Eleva.