Game of the Week: Quinter riding its defense
Published on -10/11/2012, 10:16 AM
By CONOR NICHOLL
QUINTER --The Quinter High School football team starts no seniors on defense. Two of the players, sophomore linebacker Chad Mohler and junior nose guard Tanner Samuelson, didn't play football last year.
"It's been a good thing for Chad and it's been a great thing for us, because he is going to be a good one," Bulldog coach Greg Woolf said. "....Tanner is going to be a good O-lineman, too, he does really well on his base board drills."
Samuelson actually hasn't played since the eighth grade.
"I really missed the sport and a bunch of the guys were wanting me to come back out," Samuelson said.
The Bulldogs have no dominant defensive lineman like they've had for the past four seasons. Still, led by veteran defensive coordinator Jeff Ruckman and the playmaking ability of junior safety Colton Corwin and sophomore linebacker Jason Werth, the Bulldogs are posted another strong defense. Quinter is 3-3, 1-1 in Eight-Man Division I, District 8 and will play host to Atwood-Rawlins County, 6-0 and 2-0, on Friday.
"We are doing pretty good," Werth said. "We always give up the occasional big play, but that's just football. I think that we are just getting better every week. We are kind of young in some spots, and we are just kind of learning from day to day."
Quinter ranks No. 20 in Eight-Man Division I in scoring defense at 150 points allowed -- but has faced the ninth most difficult strength of schedule in the classification, according to preppowerindex.com. The Bulldogs have lost to Ness City and Baileyville-B&B, both ranked No. 1 in their respective classifications, by a combined score of 94-0. However, Quinter is 3-1 in its other four games and has allowed just 56 points.
Since Quinter switched to eight-man football before the start of the 2008 season, the Bulldogs are 37-12 and have allowed just 20 points a game under Ruckman. That ranks second among area eight-man teams behind just Thunder Ridge (18.6 points/game). The Bulldogs' 37 victories are fourth among eight-man squads behind Thunder Ridge (39-10), Otis-Bison (38-12) and Victoria (38-13).
Corwin is in his third year as a starter at safety and again has played at a high level. This season, he has come back from a knee injury that ended his sophomore year in Week 7. He leads the team with 88 tackles and three interceptions. Corwin now has 13 career interceptions. After the surgery, Corwin worked on improving his frame, especially his lower legs. Werth (75 tackles) was there daily at weights, too.
"It was a long time and it was stressful," Corwin said. "Those three games, when I didn't get to play and I got to watch, it was horrible. You just had to sit there and watch my team lose. The rehab, the first couple of months were horrible. Then, I became to love this (weight) room. I just lifted. I couldn't run, so I just made it my goal just to lift, because that was the only physical activity that I could do."
Because Corwin gained 30 pounds, Quinter decided to use him up front some as part of the Bulldogs' four-front. However, Woolf likes Corwin back at safety more. If Corwin can play 11 yards off the ball and have freedom to see the play develop, he is more effective.
"It's just that he sees things better from a distance and can recover, because his peripheral vision is so wide," Woolf said.