BELOIT - Derek Diehl says his football team's mission this season has him focused on keeping his troops fresh.
"We're in it for the long haul," the Beloit Turner head coach said. "We're third in the conference in rushing doing it by committee and not featuring one back. When you put all your eggs in one basket you're asking for trouble if you have an injury.
"We're trying to platoon as much as we can everywhere. We want to begin a game with 20 to 22 different players starting."
The formula has been a success so far. The Trojans improved to 3-1 last week by knocking off host Evansville, 28-22. They host Brodhead-Juda this Friday.
"Every game in the Rock Valley (Conference) is equally important, but yeah, this one is big," Diehl said. "Brodhead-Juda is impressive and they're coming off a loss so they're going to want to right their ship. Their offensive and defensive lines get off the ball and they've got a very good back in (Jeff) Williams.
"They're a little young, but I'm sure Coach (Jim) Matthys will get their effort Friday night."
Turner's defense is third in the RVC in fewest points allowed while its offense is averaging a whopping 30 point a game. Quarterback Kenny Draeving has completed 19-of-37 passes for 222 yards (51.4 percent) for six touchdowns with just one interception. Jordan Majeed leads Turner's balanced running game with 75 carries for 398 yards (5.3) and four TDs. Emiliano Reyes has 37 tries for 269 yards (7.3) and four scores. JoVon'te Coleman has 24 carries for 155 yards (6.5) and two TDs. Kyle Hanaman, is also back from an off-season injury and all he did was rush for 1,087 yards and 13 TDs a year ago.
"I'm happy where we are," Diehl said. "We've been able to get up in some games and then compete against the clock as much as our opponent."
That was the case last week as Turner roared to a 28-0 advantage against the Blue Devils. In the first half, JoVontae Coleman and Jordan Majeed both had 1-yard touchdown dives before Kenny Draeving hit Jackson Carter with a 15-yard TD pass. Mickey Burrows ran back a punt 67 yards for Turner's fourth score.
While the Trojans have been able to avoid injuries, they haven't been as lucky with illness.
"We've had a number of kids come down with a flu bug," Diehl said. "Fortunately, I've been real happy with our depth. We've gotten some real good play from kids who were kind of under the radar when the season started."
Diehl said Friday's game will come down to what usually determines these showdowns.
"They have an identity and will try to do what they do and we have an identity and we'll do what we do," he said. "Then it usually comes down to mistakes, turnovers. The team that makes the least tends to be in the driver's seat. We've been winning the turnover margin and I like this matchup, but I know Brodhead-Juda is going to be hungry."
• NOTES: Williams leads the Cardinals in rushing with 39 tries for 318 yards (8.2) and two TDs. ...Turner is tied for second in the RVC with Jefferson, Edgerton and East Troy. McFarland is 4-0.