Who would of thought in late July when the talk around town was coach Wyrick was making a change at quarterback, that the Humboldt Cubs would be undefeated in November with a chance to play in the semi final of the class 2A playoffs? He was going to have his middle lineback / fullback be the quarterback who had never played the position. I will admit I scratched my head a little when I first heard. But after thinking about it some I thought it could be a good move. No, not 10-0 good move though.
After a defensive beat down from the Cub defense last Friday against a good Osage City team they will travel to Rossville in the sectional round of the 2A state playoffs. Rossville is 8-2 and won last week against Muar Hill 21-14. The game will be played at Rossville with the format of which team has hosted the most playoff games. Records have nothing to do with home teams in this part of the playoffs.
The Rossville Bulldogs are on a six game winning streak . Their last loss came in week 4 against 8-2 Riley County who is in the other Eastern sectional game at Silver Lake. The Bulldogs also lost to 10-0 Silver Lake in week 2 14-17. Rossville will attack offensively with a spread option. And they have a talented quarterback to do just that. 5’10 senior Garrett Carver has the straight line speed for when he hits an open hole to make teams pay . He can also throw the pigskin around pretty well. With 1,181 passing yards and 1,163 rushing yards coming into this game the Cubs will need to be prepared just like a week ago and make the opposing signal caller uncomfortable. Tailback Tyree Sowers has shown great speed in the running game when teams key on the Carver. He has 552 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sowers averages 6.5 yards per carry . The Rossville defense on tape looks better than what the Cubs have faced so far in 2018. They look quick and tackle very well.
For the first time this season Humboldt’s offense wasn’t perfect. They had some issues executing inside the red zone some in their 30-6 win against Osage City . The Cubs could have easily been up three scores by halftime but shot themselves in the foot a few times when it looked like they were about to score. That can’t happen this week against a team like Rossville. Dagen Goodner and Conor Haviland combined for 419 yards and four touchdowns in the game. Without an injury I don’t believe there is a team in class 2A that can stop those two young men. And if Goodner can be just a little more patient on getting the ball out on some of the short throws the passing game could keep the Bulldogs defense honest. That will be key in this game and every game after this. Osage City was putting 9 guys in the box at times daring him to throw the football. He can do it to he just needs to settle down just a tad. The offense will return junior lineman Joshua Hull after an eye injury in the first playoff game.
Defensively the Cubs were ready to win a Regional championship a week ago . They used a great push up front and good tackling on run plays . On passing plays the line did just enough with pressure and I thought the backs covered really well for not having to do that much this season. This week they will need to do more of that. Senior David Watts and Tucker Hurst will bust the middle up to let Goodner and linebacker Reid Barnett clean it up. The key this week defensively will be the defensive ends and outside linebackers. The ends have to contain and keep everything inside them with the speed options they will see often. If they can do that it will make it really tough for Rossville to score against this Humboldt defense. Cooper Jaro might be able to return for some special teams after getting cleared from his hand injury he endured earlier in the season. This team is as healthy as you can be at this point in the season .
Cubs fans clear your schedule and fill the vehicle up with gas and make the drive to Rossville Friday night . What a run these boys have been on and I believe they can win this playoff game. It will make it just a little better for them knowing the fans have their back . Be LOUD and cheer them on just like you would a home game. How sweet does 11-0 and a home semi final game against the winner of the Silver Lake / Riley County game sound ? Well don’t count on a live stream to watch this game . Get out and go to the game!