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Game of the Week: Three items to watch between Scotland and Corsica-Stickney

When/Where: 7 p.m. today in Corsica.

Coaches: Scotland's Ryan Robb; Corsica-Stickney's Jason Broughton.

Forecast: The temperature at kickoff will be 82 degrees and southeast winds at 9 mph.

Records: Scotland is 1-2; Corsica-Stickney is 1-2.

Here are three items to watch for in tonight's Daily Republic Game of the Week between Scotland and Corsica-Stickney:

Finding consistency

Both teams enter today's game with identical 1-2 records and are still searching for consistency early in the season.

The Highlanders have a 60-16 win over Centerville in the second game of the season, but dropped games against Burke (55-0) and Alcester-Hudson (48-14).

"We've played some dang good football this year," Scotland coach Ryan Robb said. "But we played it for 10 minutes or we played it for five minutes and then we played it for a quarter and then we will shoot ourselves in the foot. Then we will shoot ourselves in the foot again. We are capable of playing good football, but just the inexperience causes us to make some crazy mistakes that we can't overcome."

On the flipside, the Jaguars have dropped games against Alcester-Hudson (26-14) and Burke (26-22), but defeated Avon (58-0) in the season opener.

The Jaguars graduated bruising fullback Cordel Menning and lineman Jacob Joachim from last season's squad. They're also starting five new players on the offensive line for the third straight season. Through the first three games, the unit has made strides.

"We have been taking big steps every week and getting better, which is promising for our future," Corsica-Stickney coach Jason Broughton said. "Because we are playing a few sophomores and some younger kids up there."

Players to watch

The Jaguars graduated 10 seniors from last season's Class 9A runner-up team, but they return their all-state quarterback and a dynamic running back.

Corsica-Stickney's Blake Moke suffered a knee injury during the basketball season but is back under center this fall. The senior has thrown for 536 yards and five touchdowns through three games.

"He's been doing a really good job throwing the ball and Caysen Eide is definitely our leading rusher," Broughton said.

Eide, a senior running back, has rushed for 441 yards and four touchdowns this season and has the attention of Robb.

"We are going to try and stop the Eide kid and not let him beat us," Robb said. "But that's going to be difficult to do. He's that good of a player."

For Scotland, junior Mason Dennis is a dual-threat quarterback that's rushed for more than 100 yards and passed for more than 100 yards in two different games this season.

"He throws the ball well," Broughton said. "He puts it in some tight windows and is pretty dangerous when scrambling. We are going to have to make sure we are rushing in our lanes and try to contain the quarterback play a little bit."

Scotland junior Micah DeBoer (6-foot, 240 pounds) anchors the offensive and defensive lines.

"He's our nose (tackle) and a guard and I would put up against all the kids in the conference as far as strength goes," Robb said. "He is a strong kid and a good player for us."

The Highlanders are expected to be without senior Lucas Pedersen (shoulder) this week. Pedersen was an all-state defensive back last season after racking up 97 tackles in his junior campaign.

Keys

Last week, Burke scored 26 unanswered points against the Jaguars and Broughton said offensive execution needs to be sharper today.

"The last few weeks it's all been about what we do," Broughton said. "We need to execute better. We need to take care of the ball. Those are two of the things we really need to do. Our defense has been pretty sound, but offensively, we have got some work to do there."

Scotland has gone away from the power-I and double wing sets on offense, instead shifting to a spread attack. Robb said it's been an adjustment at times and giving Dennis time to operate has been a challenge.

That's why he said winning the line of scrimmage will be important today.

"We have to play physical and we might not be big," Robb said. "But we can still fire off and fire off hard and fire off fast and know your assignments. That's the key for us is just the line of scrimmage."

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