Postseason hopes on the line for football team
With only four games in the schedule actually counting toward a playoff berth, this Friday’s clash against Ephrata means more than just a chance to beat the archrivals and spoil their Homecoming game.
On the other hand, a loss to “Los Tigres” would mean two losses to two of the four CWAC North rivals on the schedule and a big blow to the Jacks’ playoff chances.
On top of all that, there’s the Battle of the Basin trophy, which Quincy won last year, ending a five-year drought.
“It’s going to be a huge game for both teams,” said Jack head coach Wade Petersen. “They are in kind of the same spot we are.”
Both teams sit in the middle of the pack in the CWAC North, with the Jacks sporting a 0-1 league record and the Tigers showing a 1-1 mark. Both teams’ losses came at the hands of the Othello Huskies.
Overall, Quincy’s mark is 3-2 and Ephrata’s is 4-1.
“Whoever wins between these two teams is going to decide who is going to make it to the postseason,” Petersen added. A team with two losses will definitely struggle trying to make it into the postseason.
“Ephrata plays similar to our style,” Petersen said. “They are quite a bit bigger than us up front, but that’s been the case all year for us.”
One difference for both teams is, the Jacks are going into this contest with a little momentum, having bounced back from losing 46-0 to Othello by beating Wapato 35-15. Ephrata’s last game was their 38-14 loss to the Huskies.
Against Wapato, Kade Schutzmann threw for three touchdowns, ran for a fourth score and tallied more than 190 yards passing, with no interceptions.
“He was solid,” Petersen said. “That was a good game by him.” Tyson Thornton, Gates Petersen and Carlos Solorio had touchdown catches and Ruben Vargas added a rushing TD against the Wolves.
Conversely, the team is still working on cleaning up its act when it comes to penalties. Nobody was ejected against Wapato, but the team still struggled with the yellow flags.
“We still got some room to grow there,” he said. “The biggest issue is, you get a holding penalty, a late hit penalty, and the play goes from first-and 10 to second-and-20. Those can be drive-killers. You gotta clean those up to give yourself a chance to complete a drive, or if you’re on defense, to get a stop.”
Against Ephrata, a tidy effort will be paramount.
“They are a pretty solid team,” Petersen said. “they don’t have very many holes or weaknesses. We will have to play some really good football to win.”
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. The Jacks return home Oct. 13 to face the Red Devils of East Valley (Yakima) in their third of fourth playoff matchups.
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com