Clear Creek Amana senior Jared EckrichBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – Matt Hughes would like to watch his offense put up a bunch of points, get another dominating performance from his defense and coast to a comfortable win over Center Point-Urbana on Friday.
That is what Hughes wants to see in Friday’s Class 3A, District 4 meeting with the Stormin’ Pointers at Clipper Field in Tiffin.
The fourth-year Clear Creek Amana knows better than to expect that type of outcome.
After dropping low-scoring, down to the wire games against Center Point-Urbana each of the last two seasons Hughes is bracing for another similar outcome on Friday.
“It’s not the type of game we want but I do anticipate it because they are very well coached, they play hard they are a lot like us we are a bunch of hard-nosed kids that just love to play football and be out there and do what they do,” Hughes said. “I think it’s going to be another slugfest.”
The last two meetings between the two WAMAC rivals have been near replays of one another and they have certainly fit the bill of slugfests.
Center Point-Urbana won a 10-7 thriller in the 2014 season opener in Center Point.
Last year the Clear Creek Amana held a 286 to 239 edge in total yardage but committed four turnovers in a 17-10 loss to the Stormin’ Pointers in a storm-delayed opener in Tiffin.
Clear Creek Amana is expecting a similar type of game on Friday but plans for a different outcome.
“The last two years that we’ve played them it’s been a really tough game,” Clear Creek Amana senior lineman Max Moore said. “We are just looking to match the physicality they have.”
Clear Creek Amana is already off to the best start in four seasons under head coaches Matt and Ronnie Hughes.
The Clippers improved to 4-0 with a 44-0 win over Maquoketa last Friday to avenge a season-ending 13-7 loss to the Cardinals in the opening round of last year’s 3A playoffs.
Another shot at redemption comes Friday against Center Point-Urbana (2-2)
“I look for every single team that beat us last year and I circle that date,” Clear Creek Amana junior defensive end Cole White said. “I really look forward to playing those teams that beat us.”
The statistics point toward a third straight defensive struggle.
Clear Creek Amana has been dominant defensively through four weeks, holding opponents to 5 points and 177 total yards per game.
Center Point-Urbana has had its own defensive success.
The Stormin Pointers were allowing just 251 yards of offense per game this season before surrendering 468 yards to fourth-ranked West Delaware last week in a 48-15 loss.
“We expect a close game,” Moore said. “They are a tough team and they always have a good defense so we know it’s going to be a battle for 48 minutes.”
In the past two meetings it has been Center Point-Urbana that made enough big plays on offense to pull out a win.
The key for both sides may be preventing the big play on Friday.
When it comes to stopping the big play against Center Point-Urbana it starts with stopping senior JoJo Frost.
Frost is one of the most explosive athletes in Class 3A and enters with 88 rushing yards and two scores and 13 receptions for 194 yards and four touchdowns.
The state champion hurdler also averages 27 yards per kick off return.
“He is a difference maker,” Hughes said of Frost. “We have to prepare for him and minimize his opportunities to touch the ball and as a defense we have to do our best to rally around and not get juked too bad.”
Frost is just part of the offensive arsenal for CPU.
Zach Thurm (6-0, 190) has passed for 445 yards and six touchdowns without an interception and junior running back Dalton Hite (5-11, 165) has rushed for 393 yards and five touchdowns.
Clear Creek Amana has its own set of playmakers.
Jared Eckrich and Matt Brimeyer have combined to rush for 325 yards and five touchdowns over the past two weeks in relief of Drake Brezina who was lost for the season with an injury.
“They are going to be well coached, they are going to come out and execute their plays and they have a couple of difference makers on their team,” Hughes said. “We are going to do the same thing.”