The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

November 15, 2013

Albia football team takes philosophical approach to semifinal game

(Continued)

As for playing in the dome, Staton doesn't seem to ruminate much about where his team plays, be it a dome or otherwise.

"It's really not a whole lot different except that there's no wind and it's 70 degrees," he said. "It's actually pretty nice. If you get all caught up in the drama of it all, that's a distraction. All that matters is doing your assignment. If it's a bad play, you have to admit you made a mistake, make an adjustment, flush the play from your mind and focus on what's important now."

While Staton's philosophy may have helped his team avoid the mental land mines that have torpedoed the seasons of many a good football team, Albia's success also has been been bolstered by a profusion of defensive talent. The Blue Demons talented defensive roster includes solid players like Blake Bayer, Dalton Folkerts, Shadow Leshen, Hugh Sinclair, Carter Isley, Hunter Eldon and Justin Bossard. And without that potent blend of talent and mental toughness that Albia's defense possesses, the Blue Demons probably wouldn't have been able to make the trek to Cedar Falls.

Time and time again, Albia's defense, which had spent the breadth of the second half on the field, looked like it might finally surrender a touchdown to what was at that time an undefeated Mediapolis team in the Class 2A quarterfinals. But each time the Blue Demons' backs were against the wall, someone would make a big play that would stymie Mediapolis' momentum. The outstanding defensive effort carried Albia to a 7-0 victory.

"They say defense wins championships and offense sells tickets and on Friday [Nov. 8], that's what it was," Staton said. "Our pursuit has been very good. We aren't the biggest team out there, but we're quick and that has been to our advantage."

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