Washington and Brandon Valley Meet for Chance to Play for a State Title
A lot can happen and change in one season. Washington and Brandon Valley will play for the first time since the first week for the right to go to the DakotaDome.
The Washington Warriors opened the season with a statement victory over Brandon Valley 31-7. The talk immediately started about how good Washington was and how Brandon Valley might have taken a step back. 10 weeks later, the Warriors are as good as advertised and Brandon Valley hasn't gone backwards at all.
Both teams had successful regular seasons. Washington finished the regular season at 8-1, while the Lynx went 6-3. Both teams suffered losses to Lincoln during the year, but Brandon Valley was able to avenge that loss in the first week of the playoffs.
Washington head coach Chad Stadem says that the Lynx are much different of a team than the one they played in week one.
"I just see that offensively they have gone to a true running game. They don't throw as much. They have gone to more of a tight end set and running the football. That's been the biggest difference that I have seen." - Stadem
Injuries are always a story at this point in the season, but Stadem says that his team is getting some guys back and are feeling good with where they are at.
"We had a great week of practice and I think the guys are pretty healthy. We are sitting well and they are just excited about playing the game."
One of the biggest aspects to Washington this season is how much faster they play on both sides of the ball. Defensively, with the likes of defensive end Joey Wehrkamp, corner Jack Bren, and linebacker Jacob Skogstad, the Warriors are very strong and quick. Stadem says their best football is when they have that high tempo.
"If we play slow we don't play well. We tease them about them. There are times where we can score 10-14 points in seconds. The kids love playing fast." - Stadem
Washington also has a lot of depth on the offensive line. The eyes usually focus on Matt Farniok and his brother Will, but it is not uncommon for multiple offensive linemen to get reps for the Warriors.
"Stephen Cordell has been a three year starter, Bridger Irons a two year starter. Sophomore Payton Lester has started a few games for us and he's done a great job. We practice with 12 offensive linemen and they work really hard. Our offensive line coach Shawn Flanagan has done a great job with them." - Stadem
As for the return match against Brandon Valley, Stadem says it's all about keeping his team focused on the game plan.
"We just need to play our style of game and we know that if we play with high energy and not make mistakes, we will be alright."
Washington and Brandon Valley will start the doubleheader at Howard Wood Field at 4:00 tonight. Coverage of the game can be heard on ESPN 99.1.