Through the first four games, Eisenhower football has matched its win total from each of the past two seasons.
“Obviously when you’re winning, it just makes everything a little bit more crisp, easier to get more effort out from our kids and easier to get the message out,” said Eisenhower coach Marc Marinelli, whose team is 2-2. “When you struggle, you question everything you do because you’re struggilng. And then other times they buy in and play extremely hard.
“We’re at the tipping point where it could go either way. Our message is, ‘You’ve played tough teams, you could go back to where we were or keep battling and go farther.’ ”
Eisenhower won its season opener by one over Andover and two weeks later beat Maize South by nine. Last Friday, Eisenhower trailed Salina Central by three going into the fourth quarter but lost by 17.
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The Tigers play at Andover Central (3-1), which is ranked fifth in Class 4A-Division I.
Quarterback Mason Madzey has been consistent throughout. He has 339 passing yards and 233 rushing, while running back Joseph Weibel has a team-high 396 rushing yards.
“Mason’s pretty special,” said Marinelli of the junior who started midway through the 2014 season. “He’s the best all-around guy I’ve had. I’ve had dudes who can throw or run, but he does everything pretty well and he’s really emerged as a leader.”
Defensively Brett Huelsmann, a safety who tore his labrum during the 2014 season, has been a force.
“He flies under the radar and has a big week, and then the next he just does his job,” Marinelli said. “He’s also good enough that he’ll get some snaps on both sides of the ball.”