Unbeaten Lakota gets tough test with Calvert

So much for preseason projections.

Few would have thought when the season began three weeks ago that Lakota – which has struggled since joining the Midland Athletic League – would be 3-0 at this point, while playoff-tested Calvert would be winless.

But that’s where we are.

Lakota’s offense has been paced by Jordan Jaso, who is second in the MAL in rushing, averaging almost 110 yards a game. That wasn’t exactly what was expected in the preseason, according to Lakota coach Dave Vodika.

“A real pleasant surprise,” Vodika said of Jaso.

At the same time, Vodika said the Raiders have been able to distribute the ball to other weapons. That’s something Calvert coach Todd Fox is mindful of.

“As soon as you decide to stop Jaso, somebody else has a great game,” Fox said. “But we’ve been working on stopping the inside run game a little bit better this week.”

Lakota has some receivers who are putting up some nice numbers, with Jack Raymond (124 receiving yards) and Dakota Bowling (83 yards) contributing. Quarterback Colin Timmons has thrown for 246 yards and three TDs this season.

As for Calvert’s offense, Fox said the Senecas will try some different things tonight.

“We’re going back to the drawing board,” Fox said. “We’ll hopefully show some different twists than what we’ve shown the last couple weeks. We’re just gonna attack them.”

So does that mean more running? Through three weeks, Calvert is third from the bottom in the MAL in rushing.

“Could be,” Fox said. “We feel we’ve maybe gotten away from the run game too much, so we’re gonna try to get back to that.”

Vodika said if Calvert is run-heavy, it won’t be a surprise.

“We’re expecting (Fox) to do that,” Vodika said. “The idea before [with Lakota football] was pound them and they’ll falter.”

But Vodika said he has confidence in the defense, spurred on by its coaches, Dustin Nejedly and D.J. Dyer.

“Those guys have really gotten into it,” he said. “We’re expecting that, sure up the front, hopefully kids take to our plan. Defensively we’ve been pretty good.”

Vodika said he’s expecting a tough game from a quality opponent.

“You’re going to take their best shot,” Vodika said. “We have great respect for them. (Our attitude) has been very business-like. We told them that the three games in (the non-league schedule), those are teams we can beat. Now we have teams we have to play well to beat. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

For his part, Fox said he’s been impressed with Lakota.

“Lakota’s a very good team, (Vodika) has got them playing very well and together,” he said. “So we have to be at our best Friday night. Our schedule continues to get tougher, and we have to be better.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. tonight at Frost-Kalnow Stadium.