PREP FOOTBALL: Patriots look to stay undefeated vs. DutchmenHILLS — Just one year ago, the Edgerton/Ellsworth Flying Dutchmen defeated the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots twice, once in the regular season and again in the second round of the Section 3 9-Man playoffs. The Dutchmen went on to become the state champions and go undefeated on the season.
By: Jordan Willi, Worthington Daily Globe
HILLS — Just one year ago, the Edgerton/Ellsworth Flying Dutchmen defeated the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots twice, once in the regular season and again in the second round of the Section 3 9-Man playoffs. The Dutchmen went on to become the state champions and go undefeated on the season.
This year, H-BC got the better of E/E in their first matchup. They hope to repeat what the Dutchmen did last season when the two teams meet once again Saturday in Hills.
However, Patriots coach Rex Metzger knows beating the Dutchmen a second time will be no easy task.
“We still know they are one of the best teams in the state,” Metzger said. “They are the defending state champions, and it will take a full 48 minutes of perfect football to beat them.”
Despite being perfect on the season, the Patriots are still considered by many to be the underdogs going into Saturday’s game.
“There hasn’t been much talk about us being undefeated and a lot of people have them going all the way again this year,” Metzger said. “We are OK with that since it keeps a lot of the pressure on them. We like that we are flying under the radar a little bit.”
The Patriots and Dutchmen are no strangers when it comes to meeting in the playoffs. The teams have faced each other in the second round of the section playoffs each of the past two seasons, with E/E coming out on top in both cases.
“We know a lot about each other,” Metzger said. “In the last three years, we have played them in the regular season and in the playoffs. We have played each other so much that nothing we do will really surprise them. It will come down to who is able to execute the best on offense and defense.”
To say the Patriots are on a roll might be putting it lightly. The only game in which H-BC has not won by double digits was its first meeting with E/E, when the final score was 34-28. In the first round of the playoffs, the Patriots outscored Hancock 82-14, with both the offense and defense scoring multiple touchdowns.
“We are really clicking on all cylinders right now,” Metzger said. “We have a ton of momentum coming into this game. But they have been putting up big numbers, too.”
Neither team is lacking in offense, which means the game will come down to which defense will be able to come up with the most key stops.
“Defensively, we have to play better than we did last time,” Metzger said. “We have to force them into situations they are not accustomed to. Our offense also needs to put long drives together to keep their offense off the field.”
The winner of this game will have to play mistake-free football for four full quarters if they wish to come out on top and keep their season alive.
“It will come down to turnovers and who can make the big plays on offense, defense and special teams,” Metzger said. “We have to win all three phases of the game to get the win. Like I said before, it will take all 48 minutes of the game to beat them.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 3 p.m. in Hills, with the winner moving on to face the winner of the game between No. 1 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley and No. 5 Fulda.
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
may be reached at 376-7335.