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IWU to host Trinity Bible looking for a winning streak

BY SCOTT HUNT - shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

Indiana Wesleyan football coach Jordan Langs admitted he went away from the Wildcats running game much too quickly in the team’s inaugural game against Taylor on Sept. 1.

That emphatically changed in the program’s inaugural win, a 61-6 drubbing of Anderson on Saturday.

In a steady, at times heavy rain, the Wildcats ran the ball 66 times - netting more than 500 yards as a team - and had three different players rush for more than 145 yards and combine for eight touchdowns in the decisive win.

“I should have been better at making sure we stayed on it in week one,” Langs said. “It was kind of a perfect storm (against Anderson). We prepared to run the ball, we had to get better, we liked our scheme, plus it started to rain, plus we got up, so a lot of stuff came together for us to keep running the ball.

“You may never see 66 carries for 500 (yards) again, but if we can commit ourselves to being efficient like that we’re going to be tough to stop,” he added.

While the Wildcats’ schedule will certainly become tougher in a couple of weeks when the bulk of the remaining games will be contested against opponents from the ultra-competitive Mid-States Football Association, the league in which IWU is a probationary member during this first season.

Indiana Wesleyan steps out of MSFA again this week to host Trinity Bible College, who will trek to Marion from Ellendale, North Dakota for a noon kickoff.

The Lions (0-2) are yet to scored a point during the season, losing 56-0 to Culver-Stockton (Missouri) and 46-0 at Grinnell (Iowa). Even more foreboding is Trinity Bible has gained just 24 net yards on offense through its first two games.

As a start-up program, every week presents a new set of challenges for IWU, and Langs his certain the Wildcats will approach the game with the same intensity and focus its carried the first two weeks of the season.    

“We’re 1-1 and a brand new team. You’ve got to do everything you can for the program to become 2-1,” Langs said. “If we lose perspective on who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish each week then we’re not doing our job. Our kids had a good week of practice and they’ll be ready to go.

“We’ve seen some film (on Trinity Bible) and they’re similar to Anderson,” he added. “They’re spread out, a lot 10-personnel stuff with some good skill athletes. We’ve got to win up front at the line of scrimmage on both (offense and defense). We’ve got to be really disciplined in our coverage and we’ve got to sustain drives by running the ball again. Hopefully we can come out successful.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge this week for IWU is moving on to its third opponent and further enhancing its game-week routine, especially with MSFA opponent Lindenwood-Bellville (Illinois) coming to Marion a week from Saturday. 

The focus really hasn’t changed for Langs and the Wildcats  

“Learning and growing. Every single week is just a new experience that we can choose to learn and grow from and its about watching a new opponent, changing up game plans knowing that we have conference games coming up next week,” Langs said. “Not focusing on that and focusing on what we have right now. Its just about maturity emotionally and physically.

“You get ready for a big game like Taylor, then you go two non-conference games then you’ve come back from that thing and you’re like ‘Gear up boys,’ he added. “We’re in for seven weeks of very, very good MFSA football. It will be a reality check for us and it will be another opportunity to show that we belong. Hopefully we be able to take advantage of that.” 

Taylor (1-1) at Trinity International (1-2), 1 p.m.

Taylor will look to bounce back from its 31-17 loss to NCAA Division I FBS Butler with a road trip to Deerfield, Illinois for a battle of Trojans with MSFA member Trinity International on Saturday

Trinity won a shootout in its first game of the season, topping Presentation College, 53-46, but dropped its next two games to the University of Saint Thomas (Minnesota) (76-7) and to NAIA No. 8 and MSFA-member Concordia (Michigan), 51-7. 

Taylor topped Trinity International, 33-19 in Upland last season.