The 2-0 Glenwood Rams will travel up to Carroll to take on the 1-1 Tigers in a week three district opener on Friday night. If there is one team the Rams are familiar with at this point, it’s the Carroll Tigers. In fact, in his postgame interview following Glenwood’s comeback win over Thomas Jefferson last week, senior quarterback Andrew Blum pointed out the familiarity these two teams have with each other when asked about their week three matchup.
“We’ve seen a lot of Carroll these last couple years, that’s for sure.” said Blum.
I don’t think anyone who follows these two teams would argue with me when I say that this game seems to be straight up rivalry at this point. In case you have been living under a rock, let’s catch you up on the Glenwood-Carroll saga over the past two years:
After the Tigers smoked the Rams in the first round of the 2015 playoffs, they proceeded to come to Glenwood in week three of the 2016 season and win a 21-12 thriller, smiting the Rams’ hopes of revenge. However, Glenwood got the last laugh when they upset the undefeated Tigers on the road, punching a ticket to the UNI Dome in the state quarterfinals last season.
This is how rivalries form. Two successful programs repeatedly matched up in important games within a small amount of time. Then of course, you have the passionate fans. Soon enough there is conflict between student sections at a basketball game which sparks some Twitter banter from both parties and boom; you have a rivalry.
While this matchup seems to always have hype around it nowadays, Blum was quick to mention the Rams will be all business when they head up to Carroll on Friday night.
“It’s always fun to beat [Carroll],” he said. “So we’re gonna go up there and we’re gonna have our mind right and be ready to play.”
Even though they may be familiar foes, the Carroll Tigers are not the same Carroll Tiger team that Ram fans are used to. After graduating all-state quarterback Kolby Molinsky, the Tigers will be operating a much different offensive attack than what we have seen in the past. Led by senior halfbacks Tanner Higgins and Draven Williamson, expect a high powered running game from a Carroll team that ran the ball 75 times against South Central Calhoun in week one. This means the Glenwood defensive front will need to be stellar against the Tigers.
After looking unstoppable in week one against Abraham Lincoln, the Ram defense struggled with Cameron Baker and the Thomas Jefferson rushing attack last week. However, they did just enough to get the job done. Now, the Rams will have to step it up once again if they want to walk away with a win on the road.
On offense, Glenwood looked very shaky in the first half against the Jackets last week. Petty mistakes and an inability to capitalize on field position put the Rams down 14-0 at the half. It was a tale of two halves though, and it wasn’t long before Blum turned on the game face and helped the Rams charge back to win 24-14. He will need to be just as good against a Carroll defense that only allowed seventh ranked Sioux City Heelan hang 21 points a week ago.
Another player to watch this week will be junior slot back Cooper Silvius. Silvius was the Rams’ leading rusher in week one with 64 yards on eight carries and three touchdowns. He only got three touches against TJ, one of which was a 20 yard touchdown scamper. He could be a big part of the offense not only in this game, but down the road as well.
This game will likely be won in the trenches, considering both teams run a similar offense that puts a large emphasis on the ground game. The Rams should be the favorites in this game, but don’t disregard Carroll. Expect a hard-nosed, old-school-style game that could end up being closer than you’d think.
My pick: Glenwood 26, Carroll 14
Kevin’s pick: Glenwood 28, Carroll 27
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