WYANDOTTE - Wyandotte hopes to command the clock and avoid turnovers in its first round Class 2A playoff game against Verdigris Friday night.
The key to a successful first-round game for the Bears will be the running game and the absence of turnovers, which will keep the spread offense of the Cardinals off the field.
“We have to control the clock and keep our turnovers at a minimum,” Wyandotte head coach Lynn Cutshaw said. “We feel like we have an advantage up front with our offensive line. If we can run the ball successfully and keep their offense off the field we feel like we have a good chance of coming out with a win.”
The Bears have run the football with success all season with the senior tailback Frankie Lewis rushing for 1,532 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Lewis runs the ball behind the front line consisting of Jon Vandenburg, Tyler Kauffman, Kenny Thieman, Jason Owens and Brycen Johnston.
The running game will be key in moving the first down chains and chewing up the game clock keeping Verdigris quarterback Aarron Sunday and the Cardinal offense on the sidelines.
“They have a good quarterback in Sunday,” Cutshaw said. “He throws the ball well, but we have faced some very good quarterbacks in our district, so I feel like we are prepared for whatever they do.”
Sunday leads the Cardinal offensive attack with 1,819 yards through the air and 12 touchdowns. Sunday has been picked off six times in completing 141 out of 253 attempts.
Verdigris will line up in the shotgun, but will run the ball just about as much as they throw the football.
Sunday's leading receivers are Blake Bishop (37 receptions for 502 yards and four TDs) and Shane Hnatusko (31 receptions for 469 yards and a pair of touchdowns).
“They are a balanced offense with a four-wide look and a shotgun formation about 100 percent of the time,” Cutshaw pointed out. “They are a well coached team.”
The Bears counter with junior quarterback Jeff Martin who has thrown for 838 yards and seven touchdowns on 49 of 100 passing for the season.
Martin is a threat to throw and run the ball.
The Verdigris defense is anchored by D.J. Sam, who has a team-high 162 tackles on the season.
“They will come out in a 3-3-5 stack alignment,” Cutshaw said. “They will man-up on their coverage something we hope to take advantage of.”
The Bears are coming off a momentum building 21-20 overtime win against Colcord last Friday night. The Bears blocked an extra point try in OT to seal third place in District 2A-8 and hope the momentum carries over to this Friday against the Cardinals.
“We are coming off a good win over Colcord,” Cutshaw said. “It was great way to win a football game and we hope that carries over to Friday night.”
The Bears enter the game with a 8-2 overall mark and 5-2 in the district, while the Cardinals stand at 7-3 overall after a 6-1 performance in district play.
“I feel like we have the advantage up front on both the offense and defense,” Cutshaw stated. “If we go and play our game and keep from turning the ball over I feel like we have a great chance of being successful.”