Sherburne-Earlville made the Section III football playoffs for the first time last season. While that was a breakthrough, tonight’s 7 p.m. home game against unbeaten Frankfort-Schuyler would have to qualify as the program’s most important home game in the tenure of current S-E head coach Mike Jasper.
The Marauders entered the Class C state rankings last week checking in at the number 19 spot. That is the school’s first football state ranking since rejoining Section III over a decade ago, yet the Marauders may be considered the underdog based on past history. “Oh yeah, we’ve talked about being in these types of games before,” Jasper said. In each of the past three years, the Marauders have had the opportunity to prove they were more than just a winning team, but one that belongs among the elite in the section. At each turn, S-E has come up a little short.
“We want to be more than average or a little better than average,” Jasper said. “We want to compete – and beat – the top teams, and Frankfort-Schuyler is certainly one of them. They are a highly respected opponent, and have done a lot to impress people this year.”
In three wins, the Knights (who also favor the maroon uniform accents), have averaged over 50 points per game. Quarterback Joe DeSarro leads the offense as an effective passer and runner. DeSarro also anchors an opportunistic secondary with at least five interceptions of his own, Jasper said. The running backs behind DeSarro are also big threats, especially tailback Mitchell Short.
“They don’t have the biggest size up front, but they execute well at the point of attack, and they do a lot of good things because of it,” Jasper said. “Defensively, we’ll need to be prepared, and not make our jobs harder with mental and physical mistakes. We’re an attacking style of defense. We just need to do our jobs and play within ourselves.”