Finally home: HHS faces Sidney
September 18, 2009
Daniel Horton Havre Daily News [email protected]
In two very dominant road wins, the Havre High football team has kick started their season off to a 2-0 start. But with their home opener just hours away, the Ponies are looking at the very really possibility of improving to 3-0. Tonight the No. 5 Blue Ponies host the Eastern A Sidney Eagles at Blue Pony Stadium, where action will begin at 7. “We are really excited,” Havre High head coach Kevin Sukut said. “It's nice not to have to climb on a bus and travel five and a half hours to play football. It's going to be a definite challenge for us; they (Eagles) are a good football team and have a strong tradition in their program. We expect a close, hard-fought football game all the way through.” The Eagles do host a lot of the same characteristics as Whitefish, a team HHS beat handily to open the season. The Eagles are a big and physical football team. Their offense revolves around a talented backfield that likes to run the ball as well as mix in the pass when they can. Quarterback Mitch Kallevig returns from last season, and presents himself as a double threat. He has a decent arm, but is also fast and can run if he has to. Tight end Beau Prevost can also be considered dangerous, and the Ponies can expect the ball to be thrown his direction in go-to situations. HHS will also have to watch for Tyler Schilling out of the fullback position. The Eagles are normally a run- first program, and Schilling will get the majority of the touches against the Ponies on tonight. The game is going to be a tough outing for the Pony defense, but they should stay out of trouble if they can execute their assignments properly. They have to shut down the running game, but also be prepared to defend the option play and play-action pass. “We know those are their true strengths,” Sukut said. “It's going to be a pretty close game. It's going to be hard-fought and physical game, so once again we want to play good clean football. We want to limit our mistakes, especially stupid penalties.” But with how even both offensive and defensive lines look on paper, the Blue Ponies also have to come out as the aggressor. Both teams look fairly balanced on the line, and to gain the upper hand the Ponies are looking to take their physical play to an even higher level. “We need to take it to them,” Sukut said. “As opposed to sitting on our heels and letting them come to us. But that also goes for every phase of the game, defense, offense and special teams, we need to beat them to the punch.” Offensively, the Ponies need to play a lot like they did last Friday against Glendive, minus the penalties. Evenly running and passing the ball has always been the goal for the Ponies, and after recording almost an 50-50 split in their win last Friday in Glendive, they seem to be right on track. Kent Pattison is always a dominant force out of the Pony backfield, but some other names have also been making headlines. John Perrodin and Casey Schaub have stepped up their game, and combined for over 100 yards on only eight carries a week ago. Receiving has also been on the rise for the Ponies. What was once thought of as an early concern has now transformed into a substantial provider in not only yards, but also touchdowns. Senior quarterback C.J. Evans is coming off of a four-touchdown performance, and seems to have found a number of favorable targets. Layne Waid, Logan Connor and Jake Myers have really come through early this season and are expected to do so again as they gear up for the Eagles. “It's everybody across the board,” Sukut said. “It was nice that last week Layne Waid stepped up, but we are a blue collar team and we need everybody to perform. We're not a one-dimensional group by any stretch of the imagination. C.J. Evans, the receivers and running backs have got to get the job done. As a group, we need to play good team football.” The Ponies know what the Eagles bring to the table, and they also know what they have to do to come away with their third straight win. It should be a close matchup in every position, so the team that executes on every play and makes the least amount of mistakes should come away as the successor. “I like our chances,” Sukut said. “They (Eagles) are a good football team and we are going to have to play good football to beat them. We are capable of that, but it's not just going to happen. Our kids need to realize that we need to perform and step up to get it done.” The Ponies (2-0) will host the Eagles (0-2) tonight at Blue Pony Stadium at 7. The game is HHS's final tuneup for Central A Conference play, which begins next week. Tonight's game can be heard locally on 610 KOJM AM.