By Hayden Tucker, staff writer
Southwest Covenant will look to continue its historic season with a strong playoff push.
The Patriots wrapped up the regular season, sweeping all opponents and now their focus shifts to the post season. Winning their district gives them home field advantage for the first two rounds of playoffs.
Sasakwa (5-5) will make the trek to Yukon this Friday to try and stop Southwest Covenant’s run.
“They’re a pretty decent team,” coach Trey Cloud said of Sasakwa. “We’re going to have to play really well. It’s nice having home field advantage, definitely. It’ll be a fun, competitive game, I think.”
The Patriots head into this game off their 63-30 win over Medford in week nine. The Patriots committed 11 penalties in that match up, limiting themselves in yardage.
They’ll need to buck the trend and play with more discipline if they want to keep their season alive.
“We just need to limit our mistakes,” Cloud said. “We need to cut out the false starts, penalties, all the mental mistakes. We just need to do that, and we need to play fast. If we play our brand of football, we’ll be okay. You can’t play cautious or reserved.”
Cutting down the mistakes won’t be the only thing they’ll need to do.
Eight-man football doesn’t typically advertise itself as a hard-nosed brand of football, but the Patriots believe they can imply physicality into the game.
“I think we’ve got to be more physical,” said Cloud. “Offensively, defensively, everything. We need to be more physical. Yeah, we’re fast but we need to be more physical if we want to beat some of these good playoff teams.”
There aren’t many teams like Southwest Covenant in the playoff and Cloud believes it’s their unique speed that sets them apart.
“I think our speed definitely helps us,” he said. “I have fast guys, but I have a lot of fast guys. There’s a difference in having one or two and having five. If we can use all those guys, it’s really hard to stop speed in eight man.”
The Patriots are playing their way and if they continue to do that, they should make a run deep into the post season.
“I think we’ve got a good chance,” Cloud said. “There’s not a team out there I look at and I think, ‘oh crap.’ I think we’ve got a shot in every game so if we play our brand of football, we’ll be okay. We’ve got to continue to do that.”
Southwest Covenant is trying not to look ahead but they understand the importance of taking each game as it comes.
“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t looked but you’ve got to take it one game at a time,” said Cloud. “That’s what I told the guys, it’s win-or-go-home. You’ve got to focus one game at a time and go from there.”
The Patriots play the Sasakwa Vikings this Friday at home beginning at 7 p.m.