Ironmen aren’t underdogs heading into Pekin playoff contest

The Ironmen will host the Pekin Dragons in the second round of the IHSA playoffs Friday, Nov. 4, after defeating the Rockton-Hononegah Indians 44-13 on Oct. 28

That was a game, Coach Jason Drengwitz said, many people didn’t expect Community to win.

The undefeated Dragons are coming off a 51-14 rout over Plainfield Central last week.

“People don’t expect us to be able to beat Pekin,” Drengwitz said.

That might not come as a surprise — the Dragons are 10-0 and ranked 3rd in Class 7A.

The Ironmen? They opened their season 1-3, are starting a sophomore at quarterback after losing Chase Wiese to a broken hand in Week 3, their offense was held scoreless against Normal West, it took the team three overtimes to secure a victory Danville…

“The good thing,” Drengwitz said, “is it doesn’t matter what all those outside people think.”


What does matter, the coach said, is how the Iron’s 80 players think, how they prepare for the week.

That preparation means the Ironmen are game planning for Pekin’s running game.

Drengwitz described the Dragons as a run-first team.

With two “special”  running backs in Tanner Sprecher and Kanye Tyler,  Drengwitz said the Iron defense must “take away the run and make them throw first.”

The duo recorded 338 total yards and 5 touchdowns in the Dragon’s first round victory.

Stopping the Dragons, Drengwitz said, will be a  “big challenge” since their quarterback, returning starter Scotty Jordan, is a “very capable thrower” and “a talented kid.”


It doesn’t matter what all those outside people think. What does matter is that the roster is finally healthy.

“Whether it was due to injuries or illness or other reasons,” Drengwitz said, the team was never really at full strength until last week.

The Ironmen entered this season, not as underdogs, Drengwitz said, but young and inexperienced after last-season’s senior heavy roster graduated.

“We knew what we were capable of,” the coach said, “we just had to get the experience and have all our guys playing at the same time.”

Since taking over for senior QB Weise in Week 4, sophomore quarterback Kyle Beaty’s experience has been paying off.

Last week, Beaty recorded five touchdown passes in the win over Rockton-Hononegah.

Heading into the matchup versus Pekin, Drengwitz feels “really confident” in the Ironmen’s ability to throw the football with Beaty behind the offensive line’s protection and with the team’s talented pool of wide receivers.

“We know we are very capable in the passing game,” Drengwitz said.

The team, the coach said, “knows what’s on the line,” putting “pressure on themselves to perform at a high level.”

Regardless of the outcome, Drengwitz said, for the team this season has been “a special thing that we get to do together.”