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Jaguars hoping to extend season

CORSICA--There isn't a team playing hotter than the Corsica-Stickney Jaguars. Winners of nine straight, Corsica-Stickney will now face its toughest test of the season as the Jaguars travel to take on No. 1 Langford Area in a Class 9B semifinal at...

CORSICA-There isn't a team playing hotter than the Corsica-Stickney Jaguars.

Winners of nine straight, Corsica-Stickney will now face its toughest test of the season as the Jaguars travel to take on No. 1 Langford Area in a Class 9B semifinal at 6:30 p.m. today in Langford.

"Our guys have had a lot of confidence since about mid season," Corsica-Stickney head coach Jason Broughton said. "I look for us to keep going."

The Jaguars (9-1) cruised to a 40-14 quarterfinal win over Faith on Monday, while Langford Area topped Hamlin-last year's Class 9B state champions-50-33.

Langford is undefeated this season with 10 wins and the Lions have scored more than 40 points in the past six games. After seeing tape on Langford, Broughton said he saw a lot of similarities.

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"They are kind of a mirror image of ourselves," Broughton said. "They have physical guys up front and a lot of speed in the backfield."

The Lions' top threat is junior running back Lincoln Gibbs. The 5-foot-11, 200 pound speedster was the runner up in the 100-meter dash at the Class B state track and field meet in May. Gibbs has rushed for 1,909 yards and 32 touchdowns this season.

"They have a tailback that is really hard to tackle and they are gonna line it up and run it right at us," Broughton said. "I think the key for our success will be to tackle really well."

Offensively, Corsica-Stickney will look for its running game to help set up a balanced offensive attack. The Jaguars tallied up 421 yards of offense in Monday's win over Faith and Broughton said his team will move the ball against the Lions.

"As long as our guys continue to block, I think we'll be successful running the ball," Broughton said. "We have plenty of weapons and are very balanced offensively."

Senior Eli Van Roekel (running back) and juniors Landon Bruinsma (quarterback) and Clayton Menning (running back) headline a triple-threat offense for Corsica-Stickney.

Van Roekel had 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Faith and has 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Menning adds 871 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns, while Bruinsma has 1,006 passing yards thrown for 12 scores this season. Bruinsma tossed for 204 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars' quarterfinal win on Monday.

After a disappointing 2-6 season a year ago, Broughton said the Jaguars aren't taking anything for granted as the team sits one game away from a trip to Vermillion.

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"Our kids are down to earth and they know we can't reach the Dome unless we win this game first," Broughton said. "Our kids are focused about Langford right now."

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