Bragging rights are on the line Friday night. For a matchup that won’t have postseason implications, this contest still has plenty of intrigue.
Each team has had difficulty finding consistent success in 2019. Thomas Jefferson started the season with back-to-back road wins in Sioux City and a 2-0 start in which they scored a combined 74 points. But since then, the Yellow Jackets have lost five of six, averaging only 9.4 points per game in those losses.
Abraham Lincoln has taken a similar path. The Lynx opened the year with a win at Sioux City North, but the offense failed to find a rhythm for much of the year. A six-game losing streak came to an end last Friday as A.L. enjoyed its most productive night of offense all season.
Now comes an all-Council Bluffs matchup to close the regular season. And bragging rights won’t be the only item on the line. A trophy created by the Council Bluffs Education Foundation and Alumni Association has gone to the winner of the annual rivalry for the last eight years. The Yellow Jackets have had it in their possession for the last two years..
A.L., however, is the team enjoying the wave of momentum that comes from winning. The Lynx relied on a pair of quaterbacks last week to get the job done against Des Moines North. Sophomore Eli Lusajo started and threw for 108 yards. Junior Lennx Brown rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown.
“We’ve got to play better than we did last week,” A.L. coach John Wolfe said. “T.J. is a good ball club, and they’ve had our number the last two years. It’s time that we try to get that rivalry trophy back in our hands. We’ve got to put in the work to get ready. Hopefully, we come out and play well on Friday.”
T.J. coach Brant Anderson is looking to tally three straight victorious years over the Lynx. The Yellow Jackets enter with recent success in season finales, winning their last game two of the last three years with the lone loss being a 56-55 setback to Des Moines Hoover in 2017.
T.J. quarterback Austin Schubert will look to close the year strong. He enters with 893 passing yards with eight touchdowns.
“The city rivalry helps with this game, where you’re not playing to gain anything, you’re playing for pride; you’re playing for another win on your record,” Anderson said. “It’s a big deal to these kids to win four games this year.
“Last year’s team won three games. Everybody believed when Cameron Baker leaves, we’re going to have nothing. These kids took a lot of pride in the fact that we started 2-0 and made some people take notice.”