Football: Superlarks are in it to win it

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

GRAND MEADOW —The Grand Meadow football team has as much momentum as it could have headed into the Class 9 man state football title game against Underwood in TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis 10 a.m. Friday.

The Superlarks have won 35 straight games, they’ve won the last two state titles and Friday’s game will be their fourth straight appearance in the state title game. But GM’s biggest threat over the past two years has been Underwood.

The Larks knocked off the Rockets 28-6 in the title game in 2013 and they edged out Underwood 20-0 in the state quarterfinals in 2014. As it has the past two years, the Rockets will once again feature a big line with a run-heavy offense.

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“We’re really familiar with them. They haven’t changed much,” GM senior quarterback and defensive back Micheal Stejskal said. “They stay consistent with what they do and they do it well. We’ll be ready for what they do.”

GM head coach Gary Sloan said a lot will be asked of Stejskal in Friday’s showdown. The Larks will look to run the ball as usual, but Stejskal will need to make things happen with his arm and his legs for GM to stay balanced.

Stejskal is ready for the challenge that awaits him.

“Last year I mostly just handed the ball off,” he said. “This year I’ve got to throw some passes against these guys to exploit their defense. We’ll be able to run the ball, but without me throwing the ball, it’ll be hard.”

Up front, the Larks will have to hold their ground at the point of attack on offense and defense.

“We need to shield them. It’s going to be difficult to move them out of the way, but we’ve got big powerful backs and if we work together, we can move the ball,” Sloan said. “On defense, we need to occupy their linemen and hold our ground.”

GM has not been as dominant this year as it was during last year’s title run, but the Larks are still coming in confident. Sloan said he wants his squad to come in feeling strong.

“We use the phrase all of the time ‘confident, not cocky,'” Sloan said. “There’s so much truth to that and we need to believe we’re going to win. Underwood is a very good team and I think a lot of people would consider us underdogs in this one. We want to play under control and we want to go in with the attitude that we’re going to win the game.”