Game of the Week: Three items to watch between Bon Homme and Hanson
When/Where: 6 p.m. today in Alexandria. The game was scheduled for 7 p.m., but the start time was moved up an hour due to threat of severe weather.
Coaches: Bon Homme’s Byron Pudwill; Hanson’s Jim Haskamp.
Forecast: The temperature will be 82 degrees at kickoff and southeast winds at 19 mph.
Records: Bon Homme is 4-0 and No. 1 in Class 9AA; Hanson is 2-1.
Here are three items to watch for in tonight’s Daily Republic Game of the Week between Bon Homme and Hanson:
Despite being only separated by one hour, today marks the first meeting on the gridiron between Bon Homme and Hanson.
“I have been here 37 years and we’ve never played them,” Bon Homme coach Byron Pudwill said. “It’s nice to see somebody new and we’ve got a lot of respect for coach (Jim) Haskamp.”
Bon Homme was a long-time Class 11B power before making the move to the nine-man ranks. The Cavaliers are coming off a Class 9AA state title. Hanson was moved to the same class this season and today’s game marks the first of a challenging slate to end the regular season.
“I have known Byron for a long time and I am looking forward to the game,” Haskamp said. “They are awful good and I know that. Our schedule has been that way year after year. We’ve always had a tough schedule. I don’t think it’s any different this year than what it was last year.”
Keys to the game
The Cavaliers are coming off 416 total yards against Parkston, including 249 rushing yards. Haskamp said winning the battle at the line of scrimmage will be key in today’s meeting, along with staying true to their defensive principles.
“We are going to have to really play well on the interior,” Haskamp said. “That’s going to be a critical part of the game and then they run a lot of different formations at you. They can just run power football out of the I (formation) and come at you hard that way or they can spread you out.”
Hanson is coming off a 372-yard outing against Corsica-Stickney and it piled up 213 yards on the ground. Pudwill pointed to the Beavers’ double-wing offense that will cause headaches for Bon Homme’s defense, which is why early downs will be critical.
“We need to take care of first down,” Pudwill said. “You give a team in double wing or a team that runs the ball a second and four, a second and three kind of thing, it’s going to be a long night. Our goal is just to minimize the bleeding on first down.”
Players to watch
Senior Josh Crownover has shined as the team’s new starting quarterback this season. He put up 134 rushing yards, 167 passing yards and four total touchdowns in Bon Homme’s win on Monday.
“He’s definitely been our leader so far -- offensively and defensively,” Pudwill said. “Especially defensively he just does a super job.”
Pudwill has also pointed to lineman Cole Bares and wide receiver/defensive back Nate Scieszinski as other key cogs to this year’s team.
“I would say those three guys have led the charge,” Pudwill said.
Senior running back and senior quarterback Reggie Slaba power Hanson’s offensive attack. Last week, Weber ran for 280 yards on 13 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns. Slaba had 92 yards rushing on nine carries and had 164 yards passing on 6-of-10 attempts.
“Simon runs the ball hard and Reggie is quick in the open field,” Haskamp said. “If we get some opportunities to get him out in the open field, he can be pretty elusive.”
Haskamp also credited the recent play of fullback Tanner Hallman to the team’s ground game.
“Tanner Hallman stepped up and played well for us last game,” Haskamp said. “He played a lot better at blocking and we were able to effectively run him with the ball a few times.”