A-R, G/T battle for playoff position
Graettinger – Tonight’s regular season finale between Armstrong-Ringsted and Graettinger/Terril is important for both teams.
While the Mustangs and Knights have already secured a playoff berth, a win by either team will determine seeding in the postseason pairings.
“With both us and Graettinger/Terril playing and Laurens-Marathon and North Sentral Kossuth also playing (tonight), it’s a tossup where each team will finish,” said A-R coach Robert Zotz. “Because of Laurens-Marathon’s comeback last week (in which the Chargers lost by only three points, 55-52) we can finish anywhere between second and fourth.
“Our destiny is in our hands not to be fourth,” he added.
Graettinger/Terril coach said he and his staff have talked to his kids abut the playoffs, but the focus this week has been on winning the last game and having momentum heading into the postseason.
“In spite of their one loss, A-R is still the team to beat in our district,” he said. “They and NSK are the top teams and this will be a good measuring stick for us.
“A-R has some great athletes and they’ve been through the ropes and know what is like to be a top team,” he added.
The Mustangs have the playoff experience after finishing second in the state a year ago and coach Hector knows the Knights will have to be at their best.
“They’re like NSK in that they come out and get after people,” said Hector. “If we don’t hold them in check, they have big-play capability on any play. We need to have them work for their points.”
Coach Zotz said A-R and G/T are similar.
“They’re definitely a run-first, pass-second team,” he said of the Knights. “They like to establish their fullback and they have a good one there. They run that option and if they suck you in on the play action, they go for the long pass.
“The biggest part is they make you play assignment football. Everyone has to have their guy.”
Defensively, the A-R coach said the Knights are a physical team.
“They put a lot of guys in the box and make you earn every yard,” he said. “I think we matchup well-we’re both good at stopping the run and both good running teams.”
For his team, coach Zotz feels they’re focused.
“They want to make up for that second half against Laurens,” Zotz said.
Coach Hector’s view of the A-R/Laurens-Marathon matchup is that he knew the Chargers had the athletes that could throw the ball.
“You see it a lot when a team gets up big and then shuts down for a bit,” he said. “A-R was still good enough to withstand the comeback.”