WHS FB PREVIEW: WHS hosts PA in Homecoming game
WORTHINGTON -- In tonight's football game between Worthington and Pipestone Area, one team's losing streak is bound to end. Both teams enter the contest with 0-2 records, and both will be hungry to kickstart their season by coming away from tonig...
WORTHINGTON -- In tonight's football game between Worthington and Pipestone Area, one team's losing streak is bound to end.
Both teams enter the contest with 0-2 records, and both will be hungry to kickstart their season by coming away from tonight's game with their first win.
"When you win, it cures a lot of ailments, and one win would definitely help our program out right now," Worthington head coach Brad Grimmius said.
"Pipestone's in the same boat as us, they're looking for a win. I can guarantee it they're going to come in with the mentality that 'Hey, let's go win this game and steal their Homecoming from them,' and we're going to try our hardest for that not to happen."
Both teams have had trouble not only winning, but in keeping games close. The Trojans have been outscored 99-27 in their first two games combined and the Arrows have yet to score any points this season -- they've been outscored 45-0 so far.
The Trojans have had flashes of great play, but haven't been able to extend these flashes into a full game effort.
"We haven't put four quarters together yet, so as a coach you've always got that thought in the back of your mind, 'What could happen to Trojan football if we could put four quarters together and compete for four quarters?'" Grimmius said. "You know what, you work all offseason, you work so hard during the season, why would you not want to compete for four quarters on a Friday night?"
It seems the key to win tonight's game for both teams will be who can have a stronger running game on the night.
Last week Worthington outpaced JCC in the air, gaining 171 passing yards to JCC's 138, but suffered a total of minus 22 yards rushing compared to JCC's 312, a stat that proved the Trojans' undoing on the night.
Grimmius pointed out that Pipestone Area has the players in place to have a strong running game, players that must be stopped for the Trojans to be successful.
"The key for us to beat Pipestone is to stop their backs. They have two pretty good backs, they run hard, they run low, and their fullback's a big boy," Grimmius said. "We have to stop their run and we've got to be able to run the football. We haven't been able to run the football with much efficiency -- we've got to be able to get positive yards and not lose yards."
Anyone who was in Jackson for the Trojans' game last week would have noticed that twice the team went for a surprise quick-kick on third down, a play that Grimmius isn't against using if the situation should arise again.
"That's a situation that's just game time," Grimmius said. "For the most part we're trying to get no return out of it and get them away from our end zone a bit. Sure, we give up a down offensively, but I feel what we gain field position-wise overrides us giving up a down."
Last week in practice the team's word of the week was "improvement," and the focus was on fundamental tackling and blocking drills.
This week there has still been an emphasis on the fundamentals, but the focus has been on practicing to win rather than letting practice simply become a routine.
"Last week it was, 'Improvement,' that was our key thing for the week, this week it was, 'Practice to win,'" Grimmius said. "We don't want to just practice to practice, we want to practice to win a ball game."
On Wednesday, Grimmius held the starting offense an extra 35 minutes after practice rather than letting them go into tonight's game on the heels of a disappointing practice. The unit had struggled earlier during practice against the team's JV defense.
"If you're on a starting offense and you don't move the football against our JV defense it's going to be a long night (tonight), so I definitely made that point clear to them, that 'Fellas you've earned this tonight, practice is supposed to be done at 5:30, we're walking out at 6:05,'" Grimmius said.
Apart from the extra practice on Wednesday, Grimmius has focused on getting his players to practice for quality over quantity. To help this, he has introduced competition drills in practice to keep the players from losing focus and to make sure practice doesn't become "just going through the motions."
Otherwise, Grimmius says there will be no major adjustments in place for Friday's game.
"We tweaked our blocking scheme a little bit this week, otherwise you're going to see the same Trojan team out there and we're hoping that we get effort from our players for four quarters of all-out football," Grimmius said.
Kick-off for tonight's game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Trojan Field. With the atmosphere of Homecoming and with so much riding on the game for both teams, this is a contest not to be missed.
"It's going to be a great game with us and Pipestone, they're hungry for a win, we're hungry, and one of the 0-2 teams is going to win (tonight)," Grimmius said. "We're going to have to play an outstanding football game for that to happen for the Trojans."