By Mitch Skurzewski
For Zaleski Sports
EDGAR - The Edgar Wildcats haven’t accomplished the level of success in their program without thriving at scouting and exploiting their opponents’ weaknesses.
For much of its WIAA Level 2 football playoff matchup with Hurley, Edgar defensive coordinator Greg Streit and his players were calling out Hurley’s plays. The Wildcats’ defense stuffed Hurley’s tight formation run-game all night, limiting the North Stars to 106 yards of total offense, and coasted to a 40-0 in a Division 7 Level 2 playoff game Friday night at Edgar High School.
“I thought the kids played with a lot of intensity and hustle tonight,” Edgar head coach Jerry Sinz said. “I think overall we played well, a little sloppy to start, but we came around and played well, especially after we settled in.”
It may have helped that the Wildcats played Hurley in a nonconference game in the regular season. The playoff game was nearly a carbon copy of the Wildcats’ 42-0 Week 4 win.
“We had seen them before and in this division there are a lot of teams that run that,” senior safety Kaleb Hafferman said of Hurley’s offense. “I don’t know if it was we had seen them before, I think we just have some beasts on the defensive line.”
Edgar advances to Level 3 and hosts Gilman, who upended Almond-Bancroft, next Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WOSQ-FM 92.3 and wdlbwosq.com, and highlights will be available after the game on the Zaleski Sports Facebook page.
After the game Coach Streit challenged the Wildcats to commit to being the best they can be for 20 days.
“I am talking the best we can be in the classroom, in the weight room and on the football field for 20 days,” he said. “Twenty days isn’t a long time. We all can make that commitment.”
While Edgar showed pregame preparations defensively, offensively they used some in-game scouting to hit a big play that put the game out of reach.
Watching on their iPad on the sidelines, the Edgar coaching staff told Brayden Baumgartner they were going to throw him the ball on a Y-flag as the North Stars were leaving him wide open on that route. The next possession, Baumgartner hauled in a 57-yard pass on a flag route that set up Kaleb Hafferman’s third rushing touchdown of the game and gave the Wildcats a 26-0 lead roughly midway through the second quarter.
“The coaches saw they were leaving me wide open and they said they were going to throw me the ball on that route,” Baumgartner said. “So, I just tried to get mentally prepared, concentrate and make a play.”
Hafferman got the Wildcats going, capping off Edgar’s first two drives with short rushing touchdowns. The first was set up by a long rainbow pass by Konnor Wolf to Blake Furger for 35 yards.
Mason Stoudt took a swing pass 24 yards to paydirt on fourth-and-7 after Hurley turned it over on downs at their own 27, to give Edgar a 19-0 early in the second quarter.
“It was good to see Konnor make some plays in the passing game,” Sinz said. “He did a nice job on that swing pass not forcing it. He still can be jumpy in the pocket at times, a little too much Brett Favre and we ask he be more Tom Brady. He made some nice throws tonight and that was great to see.”
After his third score, Hafferman came to the sidelines and asked the coaching staff to spread the ball around in the run-game.
“Mason, Austin, Kyle all our other guys run their butts off, so I wanted to make sure they were getting the ball and opportunities for some attention, too,” Hafferman said.
Wildcats 40, North Stars 0
Hurley 0 0 0 0 - 0
Edgar 12 21 7 0 - 0
E – Kaleb Hafferman 2 run.
E – Hafferman 6 run (kick failed).
E- Mason Stoudt 24 pass from Konnor Wolf (Austin Miller kick).
E – Hafferman 4 run (Miller kick).
E- Kyle Brewster 55 run (Miller kick).
E – Austin Dahlke 37 run (Miller kick).
First downs: Hurley 4; Edgar 14.
Rushing (att.-yards): H: 36-106; E 33-256.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): H 0-2-0-0; E 4-9-131-0. Total yards: H 106; E 387. Penalties (no.-yards): H 3-20; E 5-41. Fumbles (total-lost): H 3-2; E 1-0
Punting (no.-avg.): H 4-28.5; E 1-43. Individual Statistics Rushing: H, Blamey 15-65, Hennig 11-30, Colassaco 3-11, Huotori 2-2,Ransanici 2-3, Santini 3- -5; E, Hafferman 11-52, Wolf 1-3, Dahlke 9-88, Brewster 2-75, Stoudt 2-3, Butt 3-32, Bunkelman 1-2, Weisenberger 2-1.
Passing: H, Santini 0-2-0-0. E, Wolf 4-9-131-0.
Receiving: H, none. E, Furger 1-35, Stoudt 1-24, Miller 1-15, Baumgartner 1-57. Punting: H, Huotari 4-28.3 avg. E, Miller 1-43.0.
Records: Hurley 8-3; Edgar 10-1.