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Friday Night Lights: INITIATING CONTACT

Kade Strutz has been barreling over defenders out of the Big Sandy backfield for years, and it's helping the Pioneers reach new heights

 

September 27, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Big Sandy's Kade Strutz has been one of the best running backs in Class C football for a long time now. But, in his senior season, Strutz and the Pioneers are after more than just being good, they are after a Six-Man state championship.

Running backs in football are an essential part of the offense. For the team, it's always a highly energized moment when a running back rushes down the field or breaks through the line for a score.

Some running backs are patient and systematic, waiting for the right opportunity to break out into the open field and make a great play. Other running backs are physical and aggressive, preferring to run through and steamroll their competition.

A great running back is a mix of these types and even more.

When it comes to talk of dominant running backs on the Hi-Line this season, one senior from a Six-Man football program comes to mind.

Big Sandy's Kade Strutz has had football pads on since he was in sixth grade, but his love of football goes back further. Strutz may not have played for a school team, but he sure loved playing with the pigskin during recess back in elementary school.

Since that time, Strutz has had a passion for the game of football. His connection to the game is very literal. Though most enjoy the more systematic aspects of the game, Strutz has a favorite in the simple things in football.

"I like the contact," said Strutz. "Definitely the contact."

It's no surprise Strutz enjoys the physicality of the sport, as being the Pioneer's main man at running back means he gets to hit the defense. After all, what's the point of being a running back if you don't like the contact.

Strutz hard work and motivation is seen in full view on the field. Many of Big Sandy's touchdowns this season have come by way of Strutz. The running game for the Pioneers is something that many teams have fell victim to when playing Big Sandy.

Strutz takes every opportunity he can to make big plays for the Pioneers and especially enjoys the rush of finding the end zone.

"I like to score," Strutz said. "And it gets the crowd hyped and I love hearing that, too. I love it when they cheer."

Fans of Big Sandy football have a lot to cheer for when it comes to the team. Currently, the Pioneers are undefeated and are primed for another playoff appearance for the third year in a row. The team has had an incredible journey to get where they are now.

Since Strutz was a freshman, the Pioneers have been building. Big Sandy has been working to go big or go home every year, all the while building the dominant team people see this fall. Every game has been a big one for the Pioneers. Now, the team is in a position to drive themselves all the way to a state championship game and, for the Pioneers, hopefully a coveted title.

For Strutz, he's proud and excited that the team has made it so far in just a few years.

"We've definitely hit our peak," said Strutz. "It's the best we've been since I was a freshman."

A championship would mean a lot to the team and the school, which in the last years have just fallen short of a title. But, every year brings new chances to dominate the postseason. Big Sandy and Strutz are ready to go far this postseason and no losses so far in the regular season gives the Pioneers a big case to be a force when playoffs come around.

Strutz's goal is simple.

"To play my best, play my hardest, win and to go to a state championship," said Strutz.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

With Strutz ready and motivated to go far this year, the Pioneers have a lot to look forward to when it comes to a championship title. Head coach Larry Jappe is very glad to have a running back like Strutz on his offense.

"He's pretty good," said Jappe. "It's always good to have him on my team. He makes things and coaching a lot easier."

Strutz, Jappe and the rest of Big Sandy football are looking to continue their win streak as they go into their next game. The more the Pioneers win, the more motivated and fired-up they will be for the coming postseason. Big Sandy is making a lot of noise in six-man football and are ready to stay consistent through the rest of the year.

The Big Sandy Pioneers play Valier in a Six-Man North game tonight at 7.

 

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