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Albia will have a 10th game Aug. 18 - Albia Newspapers: News

Albia will have a 10th game Aug. 18

Game with Pekin Panthers replaces Old Shoe scrimmage

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Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 10:20 am

The Albia football program has adopted a saying in the past decade “We’ll play anybody, anywhere, anytime,” which is what will happen Friday, Aug. 18 when the Blue Demons will pack up and head to Packwood to face Class A Pekin.

It will be the first time in modern football history Albia and Pekin have met and it took an act of the Iowa High School Athletic Association to do it.

What happened was that Danville cancelled its football program for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, leaving Montezuma, Lynnville-Sully, New London, North Mahaska, Cardinal, Pekin and Winfield-Mt. Union looking for ninth games to fill up their schedule.

Second year Pekin Coach Brent Blakely was desperately seeking a ninth game, first of all to give his seniors a full season of games and secondly, to help prepare for their season opener against Sigourney-Keota. Albia was contacted by Pekin, Co-Head Coaches Justin Huber and Scott Farrington huddled with new Albia Athletic Director Larry Achenbach and agreed to play them the week before the scheduled non-district season opener at Class 3A Washington.

On Monday, Todd Tharp of the Iowa High School Athletic Association gave Albia permission to play a tenth game.

“Scott and I think it’s a real positive for our program,” said Coach Huber. “A lot of high schools are doing away with their intrasquad scrimmages and finding nearby teams not on their regular schedule to scrimmage. By next Friday our guys will be tired of hitting each other anyway. This gives us a better chance to prepare for Washington the opening game of the season.”

The IHSAA calls the Aug. 18 game a “Week Zero” game and there are several played throughout the state. The game does throw Albia’s well-established pre-season schedule out the window. The team’s “Old Shoe” intrasquad scrimmage is now history, as is the volleyball intrasquad. The Lady Dees open their season with the Albia tournament on Monday, Aug. 21, competing against Montezuma, Moravia, North Mahaska, Seymour and Southeast Warren.

“I visited with Coach Cox (new Albia volleyball coach Missy Cox) and she was fine with not playing the intrasquad scrimmage.” Introductions of the cross country team, cheerleaders and dance team will happen at a later date.

Pekin finished tied for third in their Class A district with a 5-2 record (6-3 overall including the Danville forfeit) with New London. Montezuma and Lynnville Sully finished on top of the district with 6-1 records.

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