High school football: Catching up with...
BY ZAK PATTERSON & MIKE BROWN World Sports Writers
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 2:20 AM
The Eagles (5-6) are looking for another strong defensive effort in their Class A second-round game at Elmore City (6-4) on Friday. Afton defeated Hominy, 26-6, last week as it kept Hominy tailback Blake Bohner, who had 30 rushing touchdowns on the season, out of the end zone. Sophomore linebacker Blake Wisdom led the way with 18 tackles for Afton and now has 119 tackles on the season. Coach Zach Gardner was proud of the physicality his team showed in the playoff opener. "We knew going in it was going to be a physical game, but I think our guys responded well," Gardner said.
Senior quarterback Zach Jackson is impressed by the 3A No. 5 Chiefs' quarterfinal opponent, unranked Stigler (9-2). "I think Stigler's an under-the-radar team," Jackson said. "We started watching film on them, and they've got a very talented offense, a very talented quarterback, a lot of trick plays. We're gonna have to show up and have a heck of a game to beat 'em, but I think we'll come out on top."
After a 28-21 Week 5 loss to No. 5 Adair, the Ironmen (9-2) have reeled off six straight wins, including a 41-0 victory in their playoff opener against Colcord. This week, they will challenge No. 4 Stroud (10-1) in 2A's second round. "Rankings are just what they are at this point of the season. It's not who you play, it's how you play," said coach Matt Hagebusch. "Our players are confident enough in their ability." Sophomore running back Corey Hobbs had 22 carries for 202 yards and four touchdowns in last week's win. Hobbs now has 629 yards and 13 TDs on 74 carries this season. One of the Ironmen's other options at tailback, Nate Moore, has 64 carries for 783 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year. "We've done a really good job of spreading the ball around in this win streak," said Hagebusch. "Corey had a big game last week, Nate's always a threat to score, and Tyler Lewis does everything for us. This week, our quarterback Wyatt Steigerwald will have to come through for us on third down."
The top-ranked Wolverines (11-0) host Kansas in a 2A second-round game Friday. Last week, it was more of the same for the high-scoring Wolverines in their playoff opener, as they defeated Haskell, 78-8. Vian (11-0) has averaged 63.6 points per game on the season, while only giving up 2.8 points per game. The eight points scored against them was the most allowed all season.
Rowdy Simon had seven carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns, along with a punt-block that he returned for a TD. Receiver Tre Locust had two catches for 131 yards and two TDs.
"Our senior leadership is what has kept us so consistent this year. A lot of our seniors have been playing since they were freshmen, so they know what it takes to be consistent," said coach Brandon Tyler. "We haven't played down to our competition yet this year."
The No. 7 Mustangs (8-3) will vist No. 1 Tipton (11-0), last year's state runner-up, for a spot in the Class C semifinals.
"Our guys are super motivated to take on the No. 1 team. It's big for our school," said coach Nathan England. "We had an eye-opener game early in the season against Cherokee, but we've gotten so much better every week since then."
Quarterback Brian Beal leads the way for the Mustangs. Beal has rushed for 1,786 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year, and has thrown for 821 yards and 20 touchdowns.