Slowing Humboldt is Dresden’s task
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 12:02 pm
Stopping Humboldt might be asking too much.
Dresden head coach Scott Hewett just wants to slow down the Vikings.
Hewett’s team will line up for a Round 2 track race Friday night at Barker Memorial Stadium, facing the speedy Vikings in the Class 2A playoffs. Kickoff will be 7 p.m.
“Maybe we can slow them down,” he said. “We have to try and keep them bottled up. We can’t let them get loose, and we’ve been good at that all year. We really haven’t given up too many big plays. If we can make them fight for every yard on the ground, we’ll have a shot. But, they’re solid. That’s a very good team.
“The key for us is we can’t let them have any big plays.”
The second round matchup looks to be one of the premier games in the state this week.
Both teams have nine wins and come in with Top 10 state rankings.
Humboldt skipper Dan Bland is not claiming any type of advantage, including speed, in the game.
“That is a well-coached team, a no mistake-making team,” he said. “I know that sounds like coach-speak, but they are very good.
“I hope we do, but they have good speed, too. They’re pretty explosive, too.”
Dresden’s offensive attack centers around quarterback Gatlin Hatchel, who leads the Lions in rushing as well as passing. He will be the focus of Bland’s game plan.
“He’s their key. He runs the show,” Bland said. “He makes plays with the option, which makes them hard to defend. You have to play assignment football, and that cuts down on your pursuit.”
The coach pointed out the precision Dresden shows on offense and smothering style of defensive play force opponents to play a near-flawless game in order to win.
“They’re solid,” the veteran West Tennessee coach said. “They maintain control of the ball and they don’t make many mistakes. That puts you under pressure because when you do get a chance to do something, you better take advantage of it.”
Humboldt has the personnel to make things happen when the time comes.
Senior running back CC Moody has rushed for over 1,000 yards this season, while sophomore quarterback Jaylen Montague has a full season in the books now and no longer plays like an underclassman as he brings a swagger to the offense.
Ryeon Wedley and David Wilson are big-play threats out of the backfield as well as on defense. Shaquille McCorry and Chris McLilly can make plays after the catch, and Antonio Brooks is a capable of going the distance on kick returns.
While Dresden comes into the game on the heels of an emotional 35-7 win over McKenzie in the first round, the Vikings had time to rest up with a first-round bye.
Neither coach believes that will be a huge factor in the outcome.
“The real advantage to it is getting time to heal up some bumps and bruises,” Bland said. “We haven’t had any serious problems like that. But, it’s good to be playing, too. It keeps your team in a groove.”
“If you’re banged up, you need that week off,” Hewett agreed. “But, if you’re healthy, you want to be playing. We’re healthy and ready to go. But, you know, that’s really just a year-to-year thing. And, it depends on the kids you have.”
Dresden will go into the game without defensive coordinator Chad Hodge, who has to sit out the game after being ejected from last week’s win over McKenzie. Published in The WCP 11.10.11