But offense struggles in loss to defending champs

By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

It wasn’t a win Saturday night for the Lake Geneva Generals, but it was a step in the right direction.

Now the Generals have to do something with their newfound momentum.

The Roscoe Rush, who have won the last two Mid-States Football League titles, scratched their way to a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter before they added two insurance touchdowns in a 20-0 win at Williams Bay High School.

With the loss, the Generals fell to 0-3 – but all was not lost, coach Derek Diehl said, as he was pleased to see his team battle the two-time champions right to the bitter end.

“Coming out of this game, we have to look at the positives,” he said. “The positives are it looks like the defense is on track. It’s just a matter of getting both the (offense and defense) on track.

“At least two to three facets of the game need to be on track to have wins in this league. The offense was in position plenty of times. We just couldn’t get any (big) plays.”

The biggest difference was the defense, which had struggled to find its way through the first two ballgames, Diehl said.

“They are not allowed to check out (of a call),” he said. “I said, ‘If I call a blitz, stick with it. If I call a stunt, don’t check out of it because they come out in a different formation of what we expect.’ Keep the pressure on.

“Before, they were trying to be perfect and over-think everything. … They just played better and together. Everybody was on the same page. Even though there were times we were in unfavorable coverages, they worked the coverage well.”

Now the offense needs to improve its execution and things should start to improve, Diehl said.

“We would have won the game if the offense could have gotten out of the gate,” he said. “But we struggled up front, definitely.”

The Generals’ struggles on the line weren’t because they couldn’t match the Rush physically, Diehl said.

It basically came down to Roscoe’s speed on the defensive line, which was difficult to deal with.

“It came down to the speed,” he said. “Their front four was faster than our offensive line. It was mismatch city all day. We tried everything. We tried counter (plays) to take them out of their game. They just played well.”

Lake Geneva now turns its attention to this week’s game, a road trip to Indianapolis in a battle of the Generals Saturday night at 8 p.m.

This game has must-win written all over it.

“If we don’t win in Indianapolis this week, we’re really in a corner to make the playoffs,” Diehl said.

“If we go 0-4, we’d have to run the table to go 4-4, which is (tough) because it’s such a competitive year. There’s a lot of teams with one win right now. Everybody is winning and losing.”

Indianapolis lost to Roscoe in the league title matchup last year, but Diehl said those Generals have a bit of a different look in 2012. Through three games, Indianapolis is 1-2 overall.

“They had a couple losses from their team last year,” he said. “Their quarterback was a big factor. Their offensive coordinator left. They haven’t been as powerful (this year).

“We’re thinking that we’re going to go down there, get on track this week and come home with a win.”

The seven-hour hike to the game presents another set of challenges for the Generals, Diehl said, which his team needs to overcome this week.

“Logistics always plays a factor when you’re playing out of state,” he said. “You want to leave as late as you can without hindering your game plan. On the other hand, you want to leave early enough in case you get a flat (tire).

“Sometimes, though, this could be a good experience for a team to get away, especially a team that’s struggling. Sometimes, that’s what you need.”

 
 

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