STERLING – After a tough 35-27 road loss to St. Francis last Friday, Sterling (1-1) will hit the road again this week in search of a rebound performance. Up next on the schedule is Western Big 6 rival Galesburg (1-1), fresh off a 52-12 win over Thornton.
Last year, the Golden Warriors won the Week 3 contest, 24-21, against the visiting Silver Streaks.
This year, when they travel to Galesburg for the Week 3 conference clash, they’re expecting another tightly-contested matchup.
“It’s probably going to be something similar. We had a really good fourth quarter last week, and because of having that fourth quarter, I think it helped us out so much – kind of getting us some momentum moving on,” Sterling coach Jon Schlemmer said. “It’s going to be a good game. Last year, we told our kids the same thing. They have some really skilled kids, their coaches do a good job, so it’s going to be up to us to make sure we make some plays.”
After seeing what the Silver Streaks’ offense is capable of last week, the Warriors know they probably can’t afford to dig themselves into a hole early.
“I’ve watched some film on them,” senior quarterback/defensive back JP Schilling said. “It’s a conference game, so it’s always going to be a tough game. It’s at their place, too, so we’ve gotta be ready to come out swinging. We can’t let them throw the first punches.”
After playing two games this season, Sterling is getting a better feel for its strengths and weaknesses. Thus far, the good has far outweighed the bad.
“We get after it,” Schilling said, about what he learned from his team’s first two games. “We never stop, and no matter the score, we’re always going hard and trying our best for our teammates, and doing the best we can.”
“There’s a lot more good than bad. I thought we competed at a really high level last week,” Schlemmer said. “The win-loss column, we didn’t get the win, and that’s kind of the ultimate goal, but you’ve gotta be able to take something from it. You’ve gotta be able to learn from it, and take some good from what happened, and I think our kids have done that. I think it will show on Friday if we’ve gotten better, if we’ve stayed the same, or if we’ve regressed. So my hope and goal is that we learn from some of the mistakes we made last week, and we can continue to build on the things that we did positively.”
To beat the Silver Streaks this week, the Warriors know they’ll need to execute in all three phases. Winning the turnover margin and controlling the line of scrimmage could easily dictate who wins the game.
“They’ve got some really good athletes. One kid, No. 6, he’s really special in the open field, and they’ve done a good job getting him the ball,” Schlemmer said. “I think that, at times, they show you really good glimpses of getting downhill and getting after people, so I think for us, we’ve gotta win up front. We talk about that all the time – we have to win up front – and once we win up front, we’ve gotta make sure that we don’t overlook the small things. Those gotta be the big things on Friday.”
“Taking care of the football and being aggressive on defense,” Schilling said. “And just keep on doing what we’re doing right now. And keep on getting better.”