On paper, the Bishop Miege football team understands that it is a decided underdog against Wichita Bishop Carroll in the Kansas 5A state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Emporia State’s Welch Stadium.
The Golden Eagles, 12-0, haven’t won by fewer than 24 points this season, and only twice has a team been able to stay closer than 31 points.
It’s going to be a tough slog for the Stags, 7-5, who have won five of their last six games after starting the season 2-4, but few things that are worth doing don’t come easily.
Miege understands that, but coach Jon Holmes’ squad also knows this will be the best team it has faced all season beyond a shadow of a doubt.
“Oh, absolutely,” Holmes said. “They’re big and physical on both lines. They can run the ball and throw the ball. They can give you different looks on defense that are difficult to account for, so it’s going to be very difficult.”
In the trenches, the Stags’ challenge will be matching Carroll’s physicality, which Holmes likened to Blue Valley West’s hulking offensive/defensive lines.
“West was the nastiest team we faced up front, but on film Bishop Carroll looks just as big and physical,” he said.
Now, though, install the 2011 Blue Valley offense – quarterback Kyle Zimmerman and running back Justin Fulks with four speedy receivers buzzing about the field and giving secondary coaches nightmares – for Miege’s defense to contend with.
“We saw similar skill stuff from last season’s Blue Valley team, because (Carroll) runs a lot of the same concepts route-wise that Blue Valley team ran,” Holmes said.
In other words, the Stags have no margin for error. None.
“We’ve got to play our best game,” Holmes said. “That’s for sure. On offense, we cannot turn the ball over. This week, I don’t think three points is going to do any good, so we have to score as many touchdowns as we can and hope we can slow them down defensively.”
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