Audubon one win away from first state semi-final appearance since 1989

(Audubon) A gem of football game is set to come your way on KSOM Friday night. We’ll have an 8-Player quarterfinal between #4 Audubon and #9 CAM.

Audubon coach Sean Birks believes his squad was fortunate to pick up the win against the Cougars in Week 9. “Neither team played real well. Neither team played real clean. Both defenses played pretty well, but offenses could have done a lot more. There is reason for optimism for both of us, but plenty of reason to worry as well.”

Audubon graduated only three seniors from a team that went 6-3 last year so a deep playoff run this year is no surprise. “Our kids had high expectations. Our coaching staff had high expectations. We knew the schedule was going to be tough, but we knew we had the personnel to have a special year. The guys have done an outstanding job of staying focused week in and week out.”

The Wheeler defense will be tasked with slowing down one of the state’s best playmakers, CAM’s Lane Spieker is 5th in the state in rushing yards. “If you over pursue Spieker is probably the best running back I’ve seen in a long time of putting his foot in the ground and hitting the cut back lane. As soon as you over run it, you’re in trouble.”

Audubon has an elite rusher on their offense as well with quarterback Skyler Schultes. His 1,531 yards are 4th most among all players and number one among quarterbacks in 8-Player.

Audubon has been dialed in throughout the season, but took their mentality to a new level last Friday night in beating Harris-Lake Park, 48-20. “I could tell at about 4:30 that we had a really special group and they were going to do special things last Friday night. We’ve been in big games, but you could tell the focus was even more so. We were intense, we were physical, we were everything we needed to be. Defensively we came up with turnovers and offensively we came up with explosive plays.”

Audubon seeks their first appearance in the dome since 1977 when they were the Class 3A state runner-up. The Wheelers last made the semi-finals in 1989 when they fell to eventual Class 2A state champ Emmetsburg. It is the Wheelers 3rd quarterfinal appearance since 2013. The most recent game of this magnitude was in 2017 when they lost to St. Mary’s, Remsen. That loss to the Hawks is the team’s only setback at home in the last four years. The Wheelers are 7-0 at home this season.