TIPTON — The Tipton Cardinals are looking to start a winning streak.
After getting back in the win column thanks to a 43-15 victory last Friday against Lincoln, Tipton (2-1) is looking to make it two in a row as it prepares to host the St. Michael the Archangel Guardians (0-3).
Tipton head coach Tony Braby said the Cardinals had everything working for them against Lincoln.
"This game had everything, all the bells and whistles," Braby said. "We played tough defense, we hit hard, and we had good speed on the outside on offense. We caught (Lincoln) by surprise a few times on some different things."
The Cardinals scored on their first play and Braby said that set the tone for success the remainder of the contest.
"We were really excited about the way we were playing," Braby said.
St. Michael, located in Lee's Summit, is coming off a 38-24 loss to St. Mary's Colgan in Pittsburg, Kan.
Despite their opponent's record, the Cardinals are not taking them lightly.
"They are 0-3, but man, they look good," Braby said. "They've got good size and good speed. The quarterback has a really good arm and they got this solid receiver, he has to be 6-foot-4 or better."
Dylan Zaun (5-10 jr.) is 28-of-57 passing for 525 yards this season for the Guardians. He has thrown for four touchdowns and three interceptions. Zaun has also run for 67 yards and a score.
Michael Haggerty (6-4, 195 jr.) has eight catches for 275 yards (34.4 avg.) and two touchdowns. Ethan Smith (6-0, 145 sr.) also has eight receptions this season, good for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Ellis Edwards leads St. Michael in rushing with 235 yards (5.1 avg.) and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals have to be ready for St. Michael to try to stretch the field when they are on offense both through the air and in the option.
"They are not afraid to stretch the field and throw it and they got a good little option game and that was something we struggled against with Lincoln," Braby said. "So we have to work hard on defending the option."
On defense, Noland Boyer (6-0, 165 sr.) tops the Guardians in tackles with 25 total stops. Six other Guardians have at least 10 tackles this season.
When it comes to offense for the Cardinals, Braby said the team is looking to give quarterback Blake Fischer more time to throw with its pass protection and islooking to add more plays to the playbook as the young offensive line gains experience.
"We started with a really young offensive line and they are getting better every game," Braby said. "We came into the first part of the season only running about four running plays and we just added a couple of more this week. We are going to hope to put those to use and so the more the young kids and inexperienced players are getting experience playing we can start adding a little bit more and I think that gives us an advantage and makes us a little bit more dangerous."
The Guardians are scoring just under 17 points per game, while allowing 30 to their opponents.
"We are going to have to play some good football," Braby said. "They have not won but some close competition, some very good competition. By no means are we taking them lightly because of their record. We're anticipating a good, hard fought game and we would like to think our schedule has prepared us for them."
Andy Pitts, the former Helias standout and Crusaders defensive coordinator, is in his first season as head coach at St. Michael. He was the defensive coordinator for the Guardians last season.
Game time is 7 p.m.