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Knights look to win special teams battle against Wadena-DC

Published 10:26am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Good tackling and winning the special teams battle are the keys to victory for the West Central Area football team in their opening game against Wadena–Deer Creek, WCA football coach David Drexler said.

Winning the special teams battle might be difficult against an opponent whose head coach has been described as a special teams guru.

Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Howie Kangas is new to the team this year, so he said he doesn’t really know what to expect from the Knights.

“For us to have a chance of success, we have to have a lead going into the fourth quarter,” Kangas said. “We’re going to be playing most of our kids every down.”

On top of solid tackling and good special teams play, the Knights will also have to have a good game from their secondary.

“(The Wolverines) are pretty fast and shifty, and they like to throw the ball around a lot,” Drexler said. “We’re going to need good coverage from our secondary.”

Because it’s the first game of the year, execution is going to be a big factor for both teams.

“We need to make sure we are mentally focused, and we need to execute,” said assistant coach David Schleicher. “We switched around our defense, and there will be a lot of mental responsibility put on those guys. We can’t afford any mental letdowns.”

Another thing the Knights want to do is eliminate stupid penalties, Drexler said.

“Last year we had too many penalties,” he said. “We can’t afford to lose yards like that throughout the course of this game.”

Last year’s match up was described by Schleicher as a “Dogfight.” The game ended in an exciting 22 to 21 win for the Knights, and all signs are pointing to another close one on Friday night.

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