(Carroll) "There is a lot of love down in Harlan for us," joked Carroll head coach Dennis McCarten when asked about the type of welcome his team is expecting as they head to Merrill Field on Monday in the second round of the playoffs.
That's after the Tigers have defeated the Cyclones the last two times they've played their including last year in the first round of the playoffs when Carroll was a #4 seed. Coach McCarten reports the secret to success against Harlan is overcoming the mental hurdle of competing against a team with so much tradition.
Not only did Carroll beat Harlan in the first round of the playoffs last year, they downed the Cyclones in the regular season this year, 14-7 in Week 3. Harlan though in that game was without leading rusher Nate Gettys who coach McCarten says is a very good back and one of the best his team will play this year.
Carroll comes into the game with an 8-2 overall record. They beat ADM convincingly in round one, 27-7. They picked up the win despite not having Anthony Beyerink in the lineup. The senior who finished the regular season ranked 5th in the state in rushing yards has suffered a season ending toe injury. Jon Dvorak stepped in nicely with 37 carries for 259 yards and 4 TD's.
Carroll's only losses are to #1 ranked teams losing to Class 2A's top outfit Kuemper Catholic and Class 3A leader of the pack Bishop Heelan Catholic. For Harlan, sutside of two losses to Carroll and two losses to Creston/OM, the Cyclones have won 25 of their last 26 games in the past three years. The Cyclones are 9-1 this season.
Click here for the interview with Carroll coach Dennis McCarten