SHS seeks first playoff berth since '91
If they win, they're in. It's as simple as that for the Superior High School football team which hosts the Eau Claire Huskies at 7 p.m. Thursday at Ole Haugsrud Field. With a win over the Huskies, the Spartans would clinch their first WIAA playof...
If they win, they're in.
It's as simple as that for the Superior High School football team which hosts the Eau Claire Huskies at 7 p.m. Thursday at Ole Haugsrud Field.
With a win over the Huskies, the Spartans would clinch their first WIAA playoff berth since 1991.
If Superior loses, it'll need a win in its final game of the season against Hudson at home on Oct. 18 to make the playoffs.
"The playoffs are on everybody's mind, but we're not looking past anybody," SHS coach Bob DeMeyer said. "We're looking at each game as a playoff game. Because of the losses to Menomonie and Chippewa Falls, we're kind of forced to do that. Which is good in a way, because it gets us mentally ready."
Superior (5-2 overall, 3-2 in the Big Rivers Conference) is coming off a 45-17 win at River Falls.
The Spartans were a perfect 6-for-6 scoring points on offense last week, but DeMeyer said the credit goes beyond the starting offensive and defensive units.
"It was a combination of everything," DeMeyer said. "We were executing on both sides and our offense controlled the ball and controlled the clock, which helps the defense. Our special teams also had a good game, they ran one back (on us), but their guy made a good play."
DeMeyer said lot of Superior's success has to go to the Spartans' "red team."
The red team, or scout team, consists of reserve players who take on the roles of the Spartans' next opponent.
"The red team is a big part of our success -- week in and week out they're the ones that are running the opposing team's plays, on offense and defense," DeMeyer said. "It's tough to name the entire group of kids, but they're as critical as the guys that play on Friday night."
A few members of the red team include seniors Keegan O'Neill, Matt Whereatt, Nick Olson, Matt Robley, Matt McKone and Jake Regner, juniors Marzett Turner and Russell Banks and sophomore Zach Colvin.
"The kids take a lot of pride to be on that team," DeMeyer said. "That's something you have to earn, too. Not just anybody can be on that team. It's like a starting unit and they take a lot of pride being on that team and preparing the entire team to play on Friday night.
"They don't get any headlines, but they help the other kids get them -- more than anybody realizes."
O'Neill rotates at split end during games and Whereatt took advantage of playing time last Friday with a 5-yard touchdown run.
About the Huskies
Eau Claire North (0-7, 0-5) lost to Hudson 35-0 last week and after playing at Superior, hosts Rice Lake on Oct. 18.
"Their record is not indicative with the type of team they are," DeMeyer said. "They're athletic, fast, young and inexperienced. They make a lot of young mistakes. In every game we saw of them on tape, they've stayed with every team. Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Hudson and Menomonie, they stayed with all of them. Then they have some sort of a breakdown, a big play here or there and things kind of get away from them.
"If you give a team like that any room for momentum, they're going to take advantage of it. They're not going to make the playoffs, but they would love to knock us out of the playoffs. They're capable of beating anybody."
Offensively, ECN runs a wing "T" misdirection offense, similar to Superior. On defense they run a 4-3.
After Superior kicked off to start a game for the first time all season, River Falls scored the game's first points with a 32-yard field goal. Those would be the only points that the starting defense would allow the rest of the game.
"I was very pleased with holding them to the field goal," DeMeyer said. "We didn't have a great week of practice defensively, but the kids didn't panic. The closer a team gets to the goal line, the more we dig in."
DeMeyer also credited Colvin with helping prepare the defense for River Falls speedster Levi Johnson, who rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries.
"Zach did a great job of preparing us for him," DeMeyer said. "They're very similar runners and for the most part, we did a nice job of containing him. He picked up some yards, but we kept him out of the end zone."
Colvin also did his part on offense with a pair of two-point conversion runs.
SPARTAN SPIN: All youth football players wearing their game jerseys to the game will get in free. ... Members of the Spartans Football League will also scrimmage during halftime. ... The public is also invited to march with the Spartans from SHS to Ole Haugsrud Field, beginning at 4:40 p.m. ... The Spartans are enjoying their best season since finishing 6-3 in 1993. ... Thursday's game can be heard locally on KUWS 91.3 FM or viewed on the Internet at www.ifan.tv . ... Also Thursday , Chippewa Falls at Menomonie will determine the BRC championship. Both teams are currently 5-0 in league play.