By Chuck Reherman
Southwest Covenant begins its quest for a state title tonight as the Patriots host Sasakwa in the opening round of the class C playoffs.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Patriot Field.
The No. 3 ranked Patriots bring a 9-0 record into the contest and on the heels of winning their first ever district title, winning the C-3 crown with a 6-0 record. Sasakwa is 5-5 overall and finished fourth in District C-4.
Sasakwa reached the playoffs with a 50-0 win over Bowlegs last week. SWCS finished their unbeaten season with a 63-30 win over Medford.
“The players are excited and ready for the playoffs,” SWCS head coach Trey Cloud said. “We reached one of our goals last week by winning our first evert district title and we still have goals in front of us.
“Sasakwa may be 5-5, but they do have a good team and they have some good talent,” he said. “They also have a couple of big guys in the front lines. They are definitely a team we cannot overlook.”
The Vikings are a young team, especially in the backfield. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Griffin leads the multiple formation offense and relies on sophomore Thomas Rompf is the workhorse in the running game.
Veteran head coach Bruce Harrell will pull out all the stops in this playoff game. He said to expect everything on every down. “We will use as many weapons as we can in order to achieve a balance result,” Harrell said.
The Vikings do have an explosive offense. In their five wins, the team has scored 48 or more points. But, the defense has been suspect at times also. Sasakwa gave up 62 points to Graham-Dustin (who finished second in the district), 76 to Midway and 48 to district champion Paoli.
“The key for us will be for us to be physical,” Cloud said. “We have to set the tone with aggression. They do run a mixture of run and pass, but they prefer to run. We will have to be ready for about anything.
“They can throw the ball, their quarterback is a good passer,” he added. “They do have a couple of kids that can go and catch the ball and we will have to play well in the secondary.”
Sasakwa will have their hands full in trying to stop the Patriot offense. SWCS has scored 495 points in their nine games (an average of 55 points a game). Runningbacks Trevor and Tyler Kelly lead a balanced running attack. Ben Webb is a dual threat, both running and throwing the ball. Webb has averaged 150 yards a game throwing the ball this season.
“We are excited and we are looking forward to getting the playoffs started,” Cloud said. “We expect it to be a good game and we know we will have to play well to win.”
By Chuck Reherman