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MAC Football Week 14 Playoff Previews

November 21, 2012
Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC)

Then there were two.  With St. Henry and Delphos St. John’s both falling from the playoffs last week, the Midwest Athletic Conference is left with only Marion Local in Division VI and Coldwater in Division V as their only remaining chances to bring home the conference’s 100th state title of all-time.  Last week in Wapakoneta, the Flyers escaped a late-game rally by the Redskins before leaving town with a 28-21 victory, while Coldwater stymied Covington’s high-powered offense by shutting them out 20-0.  This week, it will be a couple of MAC/BVC showdowns, as the Flyers will return to Wapakoneta to meet the McComb Panthers in the Division VI state semi-final on Friday, while Coldwater will travel to Lima on Saturday evening to lock horns with the Liberty-Benton Eagles in Division V.  

Last week, the Flyers fumbled the ball on their first possession which led to a first-quarter score for the Redskins.  From there though, it was all Marion Local as they led 28-7 in the fourth quarter.  Just when St. Henry seemed left for dead, the Redskins rallied behind the arm of quarterback Kyle Stahl and pulled to within a touchdown.  Their final attempts at the end zone in the closing minutes fell incomplete, and Tim Goodwin’s squad moved on to week 14.  “I guess the most impressive thing was that we were able to hold a St. Henry team out of the end zone in the end when they had all of the momentum,” remarked Goodwin.  “We obviously are not happy with a couple of breakdowns we had, but we also have to give St. Henry a lot of credit for making us pay for those breakdowns.  I love the fact that our team is able to forget the last play and just play the next one.”

While much publicity has been printed concerning the spectacular sophomore class the Blue and Gold puts on the field each week, Goodwin doesn’t want his group of seniors to go unacknowledged.  “These seniors have stuck with football through some lean years for their class - they did not win a game in junior high, and several of their classmates gave up football for different reasons,” Goodwin pointed out.  “These six kids are mentally-tough and also give us a lot of our physicality. Football means a great deal to these guys, and they have been tremendous leaders.”

This week, the Flyers will match up against the McComb Panthers and their do-everything back, Jerry Brown, who likes to run, throw while also lining up to catch a few balls.  The Panthers are unbeaten to this point in the season and average nearly 45 points per game, while owning  wins against seven teams that finished their year with winning records.  “McComb's defense is very quick to the football - they have made it very tough on opponent's rushing attacks in particular,” Goodwin assessed.  “Offensively, they are very diverse and have several playmakers that they get the ball to in a lot of ways.  As has been the case all year, we can't turn the ball over and expect to win.”

The Cavaliers’ march toward the Division V state championship game continues after head coach Chip Otten’s defensive unit pitched a remarkable effort last week against the previously-unbeaten Covington Buccs.  “Our entire defense played outstanding - our goal was to stop their fullback, which requires our four interior down lineman to win the battle at the line of scrimmage, which we did,” Otten commented.  “The second critical thing is to play your phase of the option, whether it is the fullback, quarterback, or pitch man, which we did.  Defensively, Brody Hoying had an outstanding night with 11 tackles, most of which were in the open field on the pitch phase.  He also had an interception, while our front five - Harlamert, Kunk, Madaj, Droesch, and Schwieterman held the line of scrimmage in check like we asked.”

This week the Liberty-Benton Eagles, who own a 1-1 playoff record in their two prior meetings with MAC schools, will try to be the first team this season to knock off the Cavaliers.  The Eagles are currently 12-1 and haven’t lost since falling in overtime in week three to McComb.  “Liberty-Benton seems to be very fundamentally-solid, and they have found a way to win three tough ballgames in a row,” Otten observed.  “We haven't had a real close game that came down to the wire yet, so that experience in a tight game could be valuable for them.”

By Robb Hemmelgarn

Tags Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) • Publisher
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