Tiger Gameday – Section Semi Finals 23 Oct 14

Tiger Gameday – Section Semi Finals

Last Game:  Hutchinson 63 Waconia 0 34TH STRAIGHT VICTORY

Game Recap: The Hutchinson Tigers used a smothering defense to run to their 34th straight victory, 63-0 over the Waconia Wildcats.  The Hutchinson defense finished the game with 10 QB Sacks, 2 Interceptions, and allowed -35 yards rushing.  Offensively Robbie Grimsley ran for 165 yards and 3 TD’s, Payton Lenz rushed for 84 yards and a Touchdown, and Backup RB Isaiah Nelson had 150 yards rushing and 2 TD’s.  Hutch picked up two more touchdowns through the air from Grant Baumetz and Riley Steenhoek.

Current Record: 8-0

This Week’s Opponent: Mankato East (5-4)

About the Opponent: The Cougars come to town for the first time in a long time.  East offensively will look a lot like Waconia and Holy Family.  They’ll spread you out, some weird formations, but they will try and run heavy on you.  No statistical standouts, just a bunch of players with 250 yards or more…so they can come at you.  Defensively they will be very aggressive, and “Blitz” the house on more than one occasion.  They have turned over opponents 21 times this season, while holding opponents to just 17 points per game. 

Key Hutch Players: We’re going to spotlight the RB/FB positions here.  As mentioned above, East will bring the house to try and stop you.  Yes, Hutch is going to get caught in the backfield in losses to their RB’s.  But the thing with Blitzes…is you live by it, and you die by it.  Eventually guys like RG5, Bam Bam, and the Mini Bus (Grimsley, Fleck, and Lenz) are going to get free and get big gains.  Keep the head up and keep fighting for those opportunities. 

Games Storylines:

  1. One more note on the Hutch offense to start out here…scoring early.  The Tigers have been masterful at jumping out to big leads early and putting the pressure on.  That’s another key here.  Keep the pedal on the metal and don’t allow a team to hang around. 
  2. Let’s go over to the defense now, Mankato East really doesn’t have just one person to key on.  It helps that East runs similar sets to Waconia and Holy Family.  The kids have seen the formations before and know what to do.  The only difference is that East wants to run out of these sets, where as Waconia and HF wanted to throw. 
  3. Mistakes and turnovers.  Hutch has clamped down on the turnovers down the stretch and been very good in taking the ball away and not giving it away.  Penalties are another story.  I don’t have the exact stats but we know that there have been more 15 yard penalties than any other this year.  Gotta keep the head in the game, keep focused and not let the game get chippy.  Sooner or Later those penalties can come back and bite you.
  4. Vacation help?  Sure did…the Tigers got a bye and haven’t played since last Wednesday.  That allowed the kids to completely get away from football for a few days and recharge the batteries.  It also allowed a few nagging injuries to heal up.  Jayden Fleck is back after a 3 game absence and should only help the run game and linebacking corps.  A veteran team like Hutch shouldn’t have to worry about being “rusty”.  Being rusty sometimes is about mindset, and the kids have a good mindset going into this game. 
  5. A useless/interesting fact for you…The last time these two schools met was in 2005, and it was a memorable game for the Section Championship.  If our memory serves correctly, Mankato East jumped out to an early two TD lead, but then didn’t score any more points.  Hutchinson rallied for a 27-13 win, en route to the State Semis.