Canistota meets Wall in rematch of last year's title gameCANISTOTA — A rematch of last season’s 9A state championship game takes place as the No. 1-seeded Canistota Hawks host No. 8-seeded Wall at 6:30 p.m. today in Canistota.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
CANISTOTA — A rematch of last season’s 9A state championship game takes place as the No. 1-seeded Canistota Hawks host No. 8-seeded Wall at 6:30 p.m. today in Canistota.
The Hawks defeated Wall 66-6 in last year’s 9A championship game at the DakotaDome. Canistota (9-0) has won 33 consecutive games, defeating Hanson 54-0 in the first round of the playoffs last week. The Hawks also won the Class 9B championship game in 2010, before moving up to the 9A level.
Canistota head coach Lenny Schroeder said the Hawks can’t think too far ahead or they’ll be in trouble.
“(Returning to the championship) is in the back of their minds,” he said. “It’s the second game of a new season, and we told the kids coming into the playoffs that 30 wins means nothing if you lose the next one.”
Wall (6-3) defeated New Underwood 27-16 in the first round.
Schroeder said the Eagles are a tough team that shouldn’t be overlooked.
“They run an aggressive defense like they did last season,” he said. “It’s going to come down to who executes and has the least amount of turnovers.”
The Hawks have scored a total of 438 points this season and have won by mercy rule three times.
“We like to identify a weakness and use it to our advantage,” Schroeder said, referring to scoring early. “We’ve got key players with decent speed, so I think we need to just stick to the game plan like we have been.”
Canistota has an average of 257 rushing yards this season and is led by the dynamic duo of seniors Alex Robertson and Cody Bunger. Robertson, a running back, has 85 carries for 807 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Bunger has 82 carries for 517 yards and 13 touchdowns. Bunger, who also plays the quarterback position, has completed 38 of 61 passes for 781 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Hawks. Nick Hofer is Canistota’s leading receiver with 16 receptions for 351 yards and five touchdowns.
Jason Vanwinkle leads defensively with 47 tackles and 11 sacks on the season.