BYRON AT CENTURY
7 p.m., Friday
Records: Century is 3-2 in the Big Southeast Red Division, 4-2 overall. Byron is 1-0 in the Southeast Red Division, 3-3 overall.
Last week: Century lost to New Prague 26-20; Byron beat Austin 42-13.
Last meeting: This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Century notes: The Panthers saw their four-game win streak end last week as they allowed a last-second TD to New Prague. Century is in a battle with Mayo for the No. 2 seed in Section 1AAAA heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, and the city rivals meet in the season finale. Leading rusher Isaiah Huber returned from an injury last week and he ran for 130 yards and is up to 413 (6.7 yards per carry) for the season. The Panthers are still battling some injury woes and illness as well. Senior QB Brock Shamblin has returned but junior Nathan Eberhart has emerged. Eberhart was 11-for-14 passing for 200 yards and 2 TDs last week and he has passed for 940 yards with 10 TDs and 2 interceptions for the season.
Byron notes: The Bears, coached by Ben Hadler, are playing Century for the first time. Byron has a trio of talented skill-position players. Austin Freerksen has rushed for 890 yards (7.3 yards a carry) and 11 TDs. QB Drew Scheuer has completed 52 of 98 passes for 758 yards with 8 TDs and 4 interceptions. His favorite target has been Ben Stienessen, who has 27 catches (15.3 yards a catch) and 6 TDs. The Bears are averaging 28.3 points a game and allowing 25.3. They are currently the No. 3 team in terms of QRF in Section 1AAAA, behind Winona and Kasson-Mantorville. The Bears close the regular season at Winona.
Century coach Jon Vik: “Coach Halder and his staff have Byron playing very good football. Strong coaching is apparent when you see the fundamental football exhibited on film. Offensively, Byron has an outstanding running back with an excellent combination of speed and power. In addition, they have a utility player, Benjamin Stienessen, who can do it all as a receiver and ball carrier. The line does a nice job opening holes and protecting for the often attempted long ball. Byron has moved the ball well in every game and will be a challenge for our defense. Defensively, Byron has been really aggressive blitzing teams in several games. They run a 3-4 front bringing all combination of twists and stunts. We have to be assignment-sound and heads up for all they throw at you. We are slowly getting some of our injured players back but we did not play our best last week and it cost us a game.”
Up Next: Century hosts on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
— Guy N. Limbeck