Amateur football: Huskerz eye SPFL trophy
WORTHINGTON -- Southwest Huskerz head coach Ken McCuen was quite specific in his expectations for Saturday night's Southern Plains Football League championship game. "One thing I do expect is that we will be holding that trophy at the end of the ...
WORTHINGTON - Southwest Huskerz head coach Ken McCuen was quite specific in his expectations for Saturday night’s Southern Plains Football League championship game.
“One thing I do expect is that we will be holding that trophy at the end of the day,” McCuen said. “We want to bring that championship to Worthington two years in a row. Worthington hasn’t had a lot of championships in sports, now we’re going for our second. When the lights are shut off at Trojan Field after the game, I expect us to be holding that trophy.”
The Huskerz will play for their second consecutive league title at 7 p.m. Saturday against the South Central Hawgs at Trojan Field. In 2014, Southwest captured the crown in its inaugural season with a 39-7 win over the Hawgs.
Saturday will mark the second time the two squads have met since they last played for a league championship. The Huskerz won a 35-13 contest back on May 9 in Truman. But that was only Week 2, and McCuen said South Central will come to town ready for battle.
“The Hawgs are a very well-formed team,” he said. “I have a ton of respect for Josh Johnson, their coach, and their entire coaching staff, their players and their ownership. They’re a good team and we know they will bring their ‘A’ game. But they better know that we’re going to bring our ‘A’ game, too.”
In terms of how the Hawgs will present that ‘A’ game, McCuen said he expects them to try to get their passing game going early - as opponents have all year against a stifling Southwest run defense - and stack the box to create a power run game.
Greg Gainey is the key cog in their offense with 960 yards and nine touchdowns passing to go with 347 yards and six scores on the ground. Tight end Dalton Haas makes for a formidable threat in their passing game with 33 receptions for 405 yards this season. Mohammed Thurman gives them big play capability as he comes with 269 yards and five scores on 11 catches.
Despite the talent on the other side, as the case has been all season, McCuen doesn’t plan to change anything up prior to kickoff.
“I really don’t care what they’re going to do,” he said. “I could sit and dissect game film all day but that’s not going to change what we do. We’re gonna go out there and play ball like we have all season. I expect us to play our best game of the season on Saturday.
I’m confident that we have the kind of high-IQ players that if we have to make adjustments we can adjust on the run.”
The second-year Huskerz head coach said no one could have painted a better picture of how the first two seasons have gone for his team. While acknowledging there is still some work to do on Saturday, he is humbled by what the Huskerz have already accomplished.
McCuen has said throughout the Huskerz’ existence that their number-one priority is to be strong members of the community and to make Worthington proud. With hopes of filling the stands to show off championship-calibur football Saturday, the team has planned a “Blackout Game” where fans are being asked to wear black. There will also be free face painting for kids and Huskerz fans, 320 free hot dogs and a raffle for two, 12-ounce New York strip loins.
Win or lose, there is also an after-party planned at Hickory Lodge. Open to everyone, there will be one or two free kegs of beer and live music from DJ Cool C. All the Huskerz have to do is provide a reason to party.
“To win a championship is the ultimate reward,” McKuen said. “For a football player, to be able to put one more ring on your finger, I can’t give you the right word for it. We can celebrate all night that night but after things calm down, all of those guys will always know that they were part of an extremely good football team and a great family; and that family is the Huskerz organization.”