Last Game: Hutchinson 35 Delano 9
Game Recap: Hutchinson looked shaky in the games opening moments, throwing an Interception, and then Delano taking it in 3 plays later for a Touchdown. But that would be the only points the Hutchinson defense would give upin a 35-9 State Semi Final win over Delano. The Tigers move to 12-0 on the season and will play for their second state title in a row on Friday, Nov. 29th. Hutchinson QB Marcus Hahn rushed for 126 yards and 2 Touchdowns, and RB Tory Adams had 106 yards and one highlight reel Touchdown. Defensively Hutchinson Senior Jake Wendland had 2 Interceptions on key drives in the second half. Wendland also caught a Touchdown pass on Offense. Hutchinson has won 25 straight games and will go for State Title #5 in School History on Nov. 29th.
Current Record: 12-0
This Week’s Opponent: Academy of Holy Angels (7-5)
About the Opponent: These aren’t your father’s Stars…Holy Angels has had some turnover in the coaching staff since Hutch last saw HA 5 years ago. Now you’ll see a team that will run out of the spread, throw the ball a bit, and try and pound it in there. HA has more formations than Christian Ponder has Interceptions (sorry couldn’t resist…J). The Stars had a ho hum regular season of 3-5, but they played almost exclusively 5A and 6A opponents. Offensively they can score points, and their defense has feasted on turnovers in the playoffs. Their Starting QB, Anthony Ekholm has been out the past two games dealing with Mono. He’s officially listed as questionable for the game vs. Hutchinson. If he plays he’ll add a whole new dynamic to the Stars (1400 yards passing, 700 yards rushing, 21 combined TD)
Key Hutch Players: In Big Games you need your Big Players to step up. Expect to see big efforts from the Seniors…Adams, Wendland, Vanderheiden, and many more…Win or lose it’s their last game in a Tiger uniform. They have a chance to do something not many teams do…repeat as State Champions.
- Win the Turnover battle. Holy Angels took advantage of 5 De La Salle turnovers in the State Semis. Hutchinson took advantage of 3 Delano turnovers in the Semis. No one wins turning the ball over that many times. The team that can take care of the ball usually comes out on top.
- Get off the field on 3rd Down. Delano had a bunch of sustained drives against the Tigers last game. Now Hutch’s defense came through with turnovers on some, and did force a few punts. BUT…you would like to see a better 3rd down defensive efficiency for the Tigers. Turnovers aren’t a given, sometimes you have to stop them.
- Know where LB Connor McCarthy is on Defense. The Kid averages about 17 or 18 tackles a game. He’s a great player. Going to be a fun matchup to see McCarthy vs. the Tiger Backfield.
- Keep the right mindset. When Hutch was in the Missota conference, there were fewer games bigger than Hutchinson vs. Holy Angels. There is no love lost between the two communities and I expect the stands to be rocking on Black Friday. BUT the two teams haven’t played in 5 years. These kids playing don’t know the intensity of the rivalry and that’s probably a good thing. It’s one thing to play for a state title…it’s completely another to play one of your biggest rivals for the title.
- A useless/interesting fact for you…No one will be wearing Jersey #1 for Holy Angels. That number has been retired. Who wore it? NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr. Fitzgerald starred for Holy Angels around the turn of the century. He had over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his Junior and Senior seasons. One more interesting fact about Larry…technically he is NOT an alumni of Holy Angels. Fitzgerald left during his senior year of High School to attend Valley Forge Military Academy.