Tiger Gameday – State Semifinals
Last Game: Hutchinson 52 Fridley 14
Game Recap: After both teams first drives ended up in Touchdowns it was ALL Hutch after that. The Tigers shut down Fridley’s offense holding them to only around 100 yards of total offense through 3 quarters. On the other side of the ball Hutch’s offense ran through Fridley for over 400 yards rushing. Both Tyler Schiller and Hayden Jensen ran for over 100 yards each
Current Record: 11-0 (#1 4A, Ranked #1 in QRF)
This Week’s Opponent: SMB (St Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy, Blake) 11-0 (#2 4A, Ranked #3 QRF)
About the Opponent: These two teams have seemed on a collision course once the playoffs started. Considered the top two teams in Class 4A, SMB was also considered a top 10 Metro team preseason. They feature 3 players that in preseason watch lists were considered top 5 talents in the state-QB Jalen Suggs, WR Terry Lockett, and LB Kaden Johnson. Like Fridley they are a QB first team that can put up points in a hurry, and their defense is quick and keeps teams off the scoreboard.
Key Hutch Players: Hutch Defensive Line. Just like last week the main key to a Hutchinson victory will lie in being able to stop an athletic QB. Jalen Suggs is rightly considered one of the top QB’s in the state regardless of class. If Suggs wasn’t one of the top basketball players in the state and getting consideration from some TOP D1 Hoops Programs he could probably play college football as a QB. Suggs has thrown for over 1800 yards and rushed for over 800 yards. The good news is you just faced a Quarterback of this style last week. So the same game plan can probably stay in place for this one. Gap control defense, rush the QB and try to keep him in the pocket. If he can get free and loose you need to watch out.
First Down: Suggs isn’t the only top talent on this roster for SMB. Three other players are NCAA Division 1 Recruits in Football. WR Terry Lockett, DB Trevon Howard, and LB Kaden Johnson. Lockett and Johnson are considered top 5 talents in Minnesota. I say this to highlight the fact this is a talented team. Mistakes and Turnovers and penalties will be all the more important taking on a team like this.
Second Down: Convert on third downs/finish drives. We’ve said it a bunch the last few weeks but these teams are good and you need to take care of business. Get some of those long tiger drives and keep a strong offense on the SMB sideline.
Third Down: Adjusting to playing inside. It will be an adjustment. You’ve played in colder temps and practiced in weather that’s normal for this time of year. BUT…this game will be inside and played in temps more typical of September. The Tigers did get inside to practice a bit this week but not on turf. The 20 minutes prior to the game will be the only time on turf for Hutch for the week. It’s still football, the same thing you’ve been doing for months. Might have more effect on the players that go both ways in this game.
4th Down, Quick Hit Keys: DB’s and OL have been some of the most improved units on the team and they will need to play their best this week…Tyler Schiller might be the Tigers best player in the playoffs, can he continue to carry the offense…SMB Coach Chris Goodwin is in his first year as head coach. He’s a former Graduate Assistant Coach under Glen Mason at the U of M.