Football Preview vs Hendrickson

Justin Jalomo, Sports Reporter

After defeating last year’s district champions, Cedar Ridge, 17-14 in overtime, the Vipers now look forward to their next game against Hendrickson who, like Cedar Ridge, have a lot of talent on their team.

“Hendrickson is a tough opponent,” junior linebacker Jax Mccauley said. “Our team is riding high after a huge win against Cedar Ridge. I’m looking forward to our team going out there and play the way we do. If we can do that, it’s going to be a fun night for us.”

Practice this week has been a grind for the Vipers as they are doing a lot of hard work as they prepare for Hendrickson.

“Everyone’s doing their part,” senior kicker Aidan Seth said. “We’re working as a family out there. The team is clicking and we’re getting our work in so we can perform Friday night.”

For the offense, the players need to make sure the little things are taken care of.

“We need to do all the little things right and play our hearts out,” junior quarterback Dru Dawson said.

For the defense, they’re having fun during practice and are also working hard to make sure they’re prepared for Friday.

“Our defense is flying to the ball and we’re having fun out there too,” Mccauley said.

For the special teams, the players stay focused during practice and get things done.

“As a kicker, we go out there early, like 30 minutes early so we can get our legs warm and get ready to go. The special teams guys are really focusing during practice and taking all the constructive criticism that the coaches give us.”

Like Cedar Ridge, Hendrickson has a lot of talent on their team but one player the defense needs to watch out for is Hendrickson’s quarterback, Blaine Barker.

“He’s a very solid player and during practice, that’s who we’ve been keying,” Mccauley said. “He can tuck and run and he’s quick and athletic.”

For the defense, the lineup looks good for this game as it’s the same as the past four weeks and they’ve been sticking to it. There are no changes made to the lineup.

“We have senior Spencer Jones, our other linebacker, playing next to me, junior Tyler Mongauzy in the secondary and senior Drew Nelson at free safety,” Mccauley said. “We feel pretty good about it.”

One strength of the team going into Friday is the fight and passion the team has.

“It’s like no other and we just all love each other,” Dawson said. “Our chemistry is amazing.”

Last Friday, the Vipers defeated last year’s district champions Cedar Ridge 17-14 in a game where the Vipers played a fantastic game on both sides of the ball.

“I can’t even describe how exciting that was,” Seth said. “The energy was everywhere, the football family was overwhelmed with Timothy Barney’s field goal. The snap was good, the hold was good and the kick was good. A lot of respect for the offense for coming back only in the fourth quarter and the defense for playing a fantastic game. Everyone did their job and it went well.”

“The Vipers were down 14-0 at the start of the fourth quarter and made a comeback to tie the game, 14-14, at the end of the fourth quarter to force overtime where Timothy Barney kicked the game-winning field goal to win the game 17-14.

“Our defense kept playing the way we kept playing,” Mccauley said. “Our offense really settled in the fourth quarter. They started slow in the first three quarters, but once the fourth quarter came, our offense was moving the ball. They made up for their mistakes early in the game and cashed in when it mattered.”

From the game, a strength of the team was the way the Vipers played.

“We kept going and we never quit. Our team could’ve easily quit and said, ‘We’re done,’ but we kept playing the way we did.”

Some weaknesses from the game was technique stuff like guarding the right guy and busting coverages.

“It’s easy to fix those, which is what practice is for, but we’ve taken care of those during practice,” Mccauley said.

The game against Hendrickson is on Friday at 7:00 at the Pfield.