Washington and Mid-Prairie open up the football season tonight against each other.
Last year they did the same thing and it was a 30-0 win for the Demons, as Mid-Prairie struggled with possession and turned the ball over six times, four on interceptions and two off fumbles.2013 is a new year, and both teams made good runs in the playoffs last year, and both bring back some key players.
For Washington their ground game returns, with four of the five starting offensive players that ran for 1,931 yards and 24 touchdowns with Alex Coker, Carl Sivels, Tanner Knupp and Daryn Seibelius under center. In case of cramping from tonight’s heat, Washington can also look to Garrett Covington who had 103 yards last year and two touchdowns.
The question mark for the Demons is how well their offensive line will make holes for the running game. Demon head coach Randy Schrader says it is always a worry, but he thinks they should be just fine.
“You’re always concerned with your up front people, because regardless of how good you are on the back end, offensively you have to be able to block people up front to get to the second level,” Schrader said. “You know across the front we have veterans in there with Tommy Peterson, Carter Hesseltine and Kyle Collier and Derek Miller has stepped up and done a great job for us as a senior he was part time for us last year but he has really come a long way. I think we are solid across the front five there with six maybe seven guys.”
Defensively Washington will need to look to some key leaders on the field to help a linebacking core that is the youngest group on the field, and they may look to Alex Coker playing at safety to step up and add another body to the mix.
Mid-Prairie brings back their own offensive firepower to the mix, led by quarterback Reid Miller and running backs Cannan Powell and Eessa Baylor. Powell and Baylor combined for 1,252 yards last year and 17 touchdowns. They also have a third running back in Austin Slabaugh that can come in and help out in case of cramps or injuries.
Last year Miller threw 27 times for 116 yards and was picked off four times. He finished the year with 1,253 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the year.
The Mid-Prairie defense also brings back their top two tacklers and a good secondary that should make the Demons fight for the yards.
Mid-Prairie head coach Pete Cavanagh said the key to tonight’s game is for each player to do their job at their own position.
“Just do your job, one of the things we struggled with last year was kids trying to do to much at their position, so do your job, control the ball, be patient with the running game and don’t let the atmosphere get the most of you, we’re going to have some new kids in there and they are going to be wide eyed. The coaching staff needs to have an even heel throughout the game, not to high, not to low, and it should be fun, we’re looking forward to it,” Cavanagh said.
Washington and Mid-Prairie will play tonight at 7 at Mid-Prairie. The heat will be a factor for cramping as well as ball security because of the sweat and dew on the ground.
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