Football: Grand Meadow will face pass-heavy Cleveland in state quarterfinals
Published 11:09 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The Grand Meadow football team will have to face a pass-heavy offense when it squares off against Cleveland in the Minnesota State Class 9 man quarterfinals in New Prague 1 p.m. Saturday.
Cleveland (10-1 overall) lines up in shot gun nearly every play and it relies on sophomore quarterback Carter Kopet to make a lot of plays. Kopet has thrown 37 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season and he’s also the top rushing threat for the Clippers, who are coming off a 33-19 win over Renville County West.
“They throw the ball a lot. They’ve got a really good quarterback and when they run, he usually runs. He’s really their key,” GM head coach Gary Sloan said
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GM (11-0 overall) will be playing the game a little shorthanded on Saturday as senior lineman Michael Oehlke is out for the season with an MCL tear. The Superlarks were already missing junior offensive lineman Blake Benson for the season.
Sloan said he will ask senior Trent Tangen, who played the second half of last week’s win with a broken foot, to step in on the offensive line.
“Trent played very well the other night. He’s going to start on offense,” Sloan said. “Defensively we’re going to go a with little different lineup since Cleveland throws a lot.”
Cleveland’s defense likes to line up near the ball, so the Larks are hoping they can get to the second level and make some big plays.
“We’re going to do what we do. Sometimes when they play that much up to the line of scrimmage, they’re going to get you get sometimes. But when you do get through, you can get a big play out of it,” Sloan said.
GM is coming off an emotional 35-7 win over against No. 2 ranked Spring Grove, but the Larks are still motivated as they chase their third straight state title.
Sloan said he’s hoping his team can stay focused on Cleveland this week.
“Last week’s game was hyped up so much, we know Spring Grove so much and have a rivalry with them,” Sloan said. “It could be easy to have a letdown game after that, but if you can’t get up for a state tournament game, you probably shouldn’t play.”
The winner of the GM-Cleveland game will play the winner of Silver Bay and Waubun in St. Cloud State University 5 p.m. Nov. 7.