Game of the Week: Quinter, Rawlins Co. hook up for rare second meeting
Published on -10/11/2012, 2:45 PM
Related AudioAt the Buzzer, Oct. 11
By CONOR NICHOLL
When the Kansas high school football teams met in Salina, Atwood-Rawlins County had trouble getting games in its first year of switching from 11-man to eight-man. Quinter had two byes, one in Week 2 and another in Week 4.
Both squads were placed in the same district, Eight-Man Division I, District 7. Quinter filled its Week 2 opening with Baileyville-B&B, but couldn't find a match for Week 4.
Finally, Quinter and Rawlins Co. decided to play each other twice, a rare occurence.
"To me, the kids sign up to play football," Bulldog coach Greg Woolf said. "I don't care who it is. We are going to go play, and we are not going to back down from anybody."
In the non-district game in Week 4, Rawlins Co. won 14-12 at home. On Friday, the teams match up again in Quinter with much more at stake. Quinter is 3-3, 1-1 District 7, while Rawlins Co. stands at 6-0, 2-0 and ranked No. 5 in the statewide media poll.
"I am ready," Quinter sophomore Jason Werth said. "Coach on the way home from Hill City said, 'Next is Atwood.' You have got to think in your head that you have got to beat them. I can't get it out ever since."
Quinter, Rawlins Co. and Hoxie are in competition for the second spot in the district behind Ness City, ranked No. 1 in the classification. Rawlins Co. coach Deone Horinek said it's nice play a team that is close by, but believes its difficult to play a squad twice.
"Don't like it," Horinek said. "I think playing the same team twice is tough. We didn't play very against them and I know that they have momentum going into the game."
The repeat matchups have occurred several times in the playoffs, namely with Hutchinson-Bishop Carroll, B&B-Hanover and even Plainville-La Crosse last year in Class 2-1A. The repeat regular season meetings is extremely rare.
"It's pretty tough," sophomore center Rhett Mizer said. "They obviously know a lot of what we run. We know a lot of what they run. Offense, it's pretty difficult to trying to come up with things that maybe they won't be expecting."
Fowler and Moscow did it in Eight-Man Division II in each of the past two seasons. In 2010, Moscow won the non-district game 46-30, but Fowler won in district 70-24. In 2011, Moscow won both meetings. Woolf has coached for more than 20 years at Colby, Eudora and is now in his 11th season at Quinter, but has never played a team twice during the year.
Woolf also likes the matchup for the fact that both teams are from the Northwest Kansas League and run similar systems.
"They are going to line up double tight, and they are just going to try to run the ball over you," Woolf said. "I like that football. I don't like to pass a whole lot. That's just kind of what I was brought up with."
Both teams run the ball often and are very young. Rawlins Co. has no seniors on its entire roster, while Quinter has three seniors, none who start on defense.
"They are kind of like us," Werth added. "Ground and pound. They will pound the rock and then they will come right at you and smack you in the mouth and see how tough you really are."
Rawlins Co. has three players with at least 264 rushing yards, including 480 from junior quarterback Dylan Tiemeyer and 672 from junior Michael Capo. Tiemeyer also has thrown for 362 yards with a 3/1 TD/INT ratio. Mizer, the team's 140-pound center and linebacker, leads the squad with 86 tackles, most among Kansas eight-man sophomores, according to maxpreps.com. Horinek said Mizer "has the heart of a warrior."
"He is the biggest hearted, most passionate kid that you could ever hope to coach," Horinek said. "He loves the game of football. He tries to understand it, and he wants to do well. He wants to be on every play. He wants to be on every tackle. He is just a quality kid. Everything that he says is, 'Yes sir, yes sir, what can I do to make myself and my team better.' "
Quinter has averaged 185 rushing yards a game against 38 passing yards a game. Junior Colton Corwin, last year's starting quarterback, moved to running back this season. He switched to fullback last week when sophomore Brett Crist couldn't play because of a back injury. The coaches have decided to move Crist, because of his length, out to end and keep Corwin at fullback.
Corwin, who missed the final three games of the season last year because of a knee injury, has put on 30 pounds post-surgery and leads the Bulldogs with 84 carries for 553 yards and eight scores.
"I can notice when I am running the ball," Corwin said.
"Less people can tackle me. I see a lot more people diving at my ankles to take me out rather than hitting me up high and matching my strength."