It’s already been a very good season for the Chinook Sugarbeeters, but with a lot still on the line, the Beeters are one win away from making history.
Saturday at 1 p.m. in Chinook, the Northern rival C Power-Dutton-Brady Titans in state semifinal 8-man clash.
Making it this far into the playoffs is a huge opportunity for the Beeters. If they can manage a win this weekend, they will find themselves back at home next weekend, hosting the Class C state championship game.
“We are very excited for this opportunity,” Chinook head coach Matt Molyneaux said. “If we play well and pull out a win it would give us the opportunity to host a championship game in Chinook and we’ve never had one here. The kids are really excited about that and I am looking forward to the kids playing very well this weekend.”
And even though the Beeters are the only team to beat the Titans this season, doing so again won’t be easy. On Oct. 1, the Beeters defeated the Titans 54-6 in Chinook, the only Pirate loss this season. But just as every team has, the Titans have improved immensely over the last month, winning four straight games since the loss to Chinook.
“I agree to some extent that it's hard to beat a team twice,” Molyneaux said. “Especially if the kids overlook a team for whatever reason. I just think you have to forget you have played a team before and go in with the mindset that it’s a single game and prepare like you did the first time. That’s just how you have to approach it.”
And as far as preparation goes, the Beeters are preparing for a very tough offense. The Titan offense is similar to the Beeters in that they can run the ball with great success. The Pirates will lineup in a several different formations and love to spread the ball around to different talent. But when running the ball, they have found a lot of success with option, conter and play action plays.
Quarterback Logan Rossmiller is a definite target for the Beeter defense. He can hurt a team with his arm as well as tuck the ball and run if needed. Senior running back Eric Sievers, a 200-pound powerhouse will also need to be stopped by the Chinook defense on Saturday.
“The last two games,” Molyneaux said “Our defense has probably been playing the best they have all year. Our line has been really good and our defensive secondary has been really good. We have stepped up and made some big plays the last two weeks and it’s going to take a strong defensive effort again to win the football game.
Offensively, the Beeters will mostly rely on what has gotten them this far, their running game. Last weekend Tyler Molyneaux continued the trend on the ground and led the Beeters to a win with four rushing touchdowns. They will look to continue that success on the ground on Saturday, but will also look to pass the ball if necessary. Chris Haider has been the most consistent receiver for the Beeters this season and could also play a factor this weekend.
“Teams are starting to pack the box with seven guys and blitzing a lot more in an attempt to stop the running game,” Coach Molyneaux said. “We just have to be disciplined in picking up the blitz and picking up blockers. We also want to always try and keep them off balance. Running is our strength, but we have show that we can make some big completions through the air. We will look to take some opportunities to get over the top of them.”
It’s going to take a big game both offensively and defensively for the Beeters to find success again this weekend. But with the numbers they have put up all season, they have to like their chances.
Saturday the Beeters (9-1) will host the Titans (9-1) at 1 p.m. in Chinook.