The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

October 3, 2013

Five wins, no losses and nothing easy for fourth-ranked Albia

ALBIA — To get to 5-0, according to Albia head football coach Jerry Staton, would have been a great breakthrough moment for his team.

The same opportunity had slipped through the hands of the Blue Demons each of the past two years thanks to losses against eventual district champions Mediapolis and Bondurant-Farrar. To achieve that kind of start certainly would feel like milestone moment for an Albia team with high hopes for this 2013 season.

The end of the fifth game this season came this past Friday night for the fourth-ranked (2A) Blue Demons. It was on Homecoming night and it featured a rematch with the same Bondurant-Farrar team that kept Albia from last year’s 5-0 mark.

Try as they may, the Blue Jays of Bondurant could keep Albia down for good again in 2013. Brett Leshen and Zach Hugen wouldn’t let it happen.

The senior quarterback and wide receiver came through in the clutch again last Friday when the team needed them to, hooking up on a game-winning touchdown from 35 yards out midway through the fourth quarter. It led the Blue Demons to that elusive fifth win as Albia rallied from a fourth quarter deficit for the season week in a row.

The 42-36 thriller over Bondurant-Farrar last Friday followed an equally tense 21-20 road escape at Davis County for Albia. After weeks of winning with a variety of players stepping up, Leshen and Hugen showed last Friday an ability to be a very unstoppable passing combination, especially coming off the duo connecting on a 33-yard game-winning touchdown at Bloomfield a week earlier.

“I just had faith that we could score anytime we wanted to as a team,” Hugen said after catching eight passes for 270 yards Friday in a career night for the Blue Demon senior. “I can’t say enough about my offensive line making the blocks for Brett. I just go out there and make the catches. It becomes pretty easy when you’re part of team that executes as well as we do.”

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