With two postseason wins already in th
e books for the Chinook Sugarbeeters, the Northern C 8-Man powerhouse has yet to play on the road. But now entering the Class C semifinals, the Beeters will have to take to the road if they hope to continue the 2011 season.
The Beeters remain undefeated on the season at 10-0 and will travel to No. 2 Fairview on Saturday. The hosting Warriors are also undefeated at 9-0, meaning the first loss for either of these teams will also result in the end of their season.
But even with the road trip lying ahead for the Beeters, and facing an extremely tough team, head coach Matt Molyneaux is staying optimistic.
“We are happy to still be playing and to be one of the four teams left,” Coach Molyneaux said. “And obviously Fairview is a good team because they are still in it, but we are coming off of a good week of practice and people are healthy, so we are excited to make the trip to Fairview. We look at this as just another game. We proved last year that we can get on the road and get settled and win. So the kids are ready and they don’t mind traveling. We know we have been fortunate to have a lot of games at home, but if we play well on the road there is chance we can come back home to play one more.”
The Warriors are a very tough team on all sides of the ball. But on offense they are led by quarterback Brock Schriver and Cody Vitt, an explosive running back. The Warriors are a run-first offense and tend to lean that way as much as possible, so the Beeters’ defense can expect to see a lot of Vitt on Saturday. In Fairview’s win last weekend, Vitt had one score on 30 carries and 108 yards. Schriver had three rushing TD’s and one passing.
If Chinook hopes to stop the Warriors theBeeters will have to battle through a stout offensive line as well as force the Warriors to abandon the running game.
“They are basically a run team and we are aware of that,” Molyneaux said. “For us, we need to get some defensive line penetration and our backers have to shut them down. They like to get to the corners so our backers have to have another big game.”
On offense, the Beeters are looking to score, and to score quickly.
Last weekend the Warriors gave up 18 points in the first quarter and went down 18-6, and the Beeters will look to take advantage of that. Zach Molyneaux and Ben Stroh will handle things in the ground game and Brandon Riphenburg will look to get more involved in the passing game. Riphenburg is always a deep threat and a well balanced, powerfull offense should propel the Beeters.
That would be great,” Coach Mlyneaux said.”The idea of getting off to a fast start, putting points up early and executing early would be critical in a game like this, against a team like this. I think we match up real well with Fairview. I am confident that if we execute like we have been and take care of the mistakes then I like our chances.”
The winner of the Chinook/Fairview matchup will face either Twin Brigdes or Ennis for the state title next weekend. Chinook is riding a 19-game winning streak.
Saturday at 1 p.m. the Warriors and Beeters will kickoff semifinal action in Fairview.