Saint Pats gets set for their semi-finals match up against Neligh-Oakdale
Saint Pats Football
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The 11-0 Irish of Saint Pat’s have made it to the semi-finals round of the NSAA Football Playoffs. The Irish will face the 10-1 Neligh-Oakdale Warriors in the semi-finals. This will be the Irish’s first road game of the playoffs, but Head Coach Kevin Dodson is confident in his players to be able to adjust quickly and get the job done on the road Friday Night.
“We’re really hoping that our boys are focused and you know it’s been a long time since we’ve been on the road, we had all those playoff games at home, but this is a group that’s mature, they travel well, and they’re excited about this opportunity. That’s one thing that I enjoy about this group of young men, they look forward to the challenges. Every week here in the playoffs they’ve had new challenges and they’ve had obstacles to overcome and they just embrace that and have done a great job,” says Dodson.
Most of the Warrior’s offense is run through quarterback, Aiden Kuester who leads the team in passing yards and rushing yards this season. Kuester has notched an impressive 2,487 yards through the air this season and 1,840 yards on the ground. According to Dodson, knowing exactly where Kuester is at all times is imperative for the success of the Irish on Friday Night.
With only this game standing between the Irish and a trip to the State Championship Game, it would be easy to begin letting the excitement of a trip to the State Championship Game cloud your mind from the task at hand this week, but Dodson says his guys have done a great job each week of living with a week to week mindset.
“When you get to the semi-finals you have to embrace that and understand that it’s a one-game-a-week mentality, but you know that’s sitting in the back of their minds. This is an extremely important game, if you can win this game, if you can execute well enough, you kick that door down to get into the state finals and that’s just a lot of fun,” explains Dodson.
So what is the game plan for the Irish against the Warriors, well it’s not much different from any other game, the game plan continues to consist of playing physically and controlling the line of scrimmage.
“When you get to this point in the season, everything matters, every play matters, so you want to make sure that you secure that ball, play physical on defense, and try to get some advantages in the special teams play. If you can do that and incorporate that into all three phases of the game you should be okay,”
The Irish will face off against the Warriors at 7:00 on Friday at Neligh-Oakdale.
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