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The 129th edition of the Turkey Bowl commences at 2 p.m. on Saturday at April Zorn Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s home team, Monmouth, has won 18 straight contests over their archrival Knox College Prairie Fire. However, Damon Tomeo’s Prairie Fire currently own a 4-4 record, which is substantially better than most of the win-loss records for the football program in recent years. He credits that success to two things:
“I think the turnover margin for us has been huge. The second big thing that a lot of people don’t realize is our upperclassmen. We now have 25 juniors and seniors here. That’s an unheard of number around Knox College. Really, our sophomore class is even bigger than that. Our juniors and seniors next year could be even more. It’s really neat to have the leadership and experience. Those guys have been in a lot of ball games. They kind of know what’s going on, and they come in with some experience and swagger. It pays dividends when you get into those fourth quarters,” Tomeo said.
Knox may be raising the bar for football expectations this season, but Tomeo hopes that his team’s growth extends beyond the gridiron.
“I think what we’re really trying to do is set these guys up for being great dads and great husbands and future leaders and successful in their lives. Along the way, if we happen to win some football games, that’s great too. It’s just been great to see our guys and their development,” he said.
Overall, he wants his guys to embrace the opportunity ahead of them tomorrow, playing against the South division-leading Monmouth College Fighting Scots.
“Turnovers are going to be important. We have got to move the football on offense. Monmouth’s defense is tremendous again this year – like last year. Two years in a row, Coach Braun has got that thing going. We have got to move the football. We’ve got to score. You can’t go out and beat Monmouth 7-0. It’s not going to happen,” Tomeo stated.
Kickoff tomorrow for the 129th Turkey Bowl is scheduled for 2 p.m.
written by Jackson Kane