PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Wolves host run-heavy Pirates
Kidder County High School football is beginning to gel at the perfect time of the year.
The Wolves have won four of the last five games—a pair of two-game winning streaks with a 26-14 loss to Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter in the middle—to earn a spot in the 9-Man playoffs. KC (5-4) will host Hankinson (4-4) Saturday afternoon in Steele.
"I'm pretty happy with the boys," said Wolves' coach Jack Biesterfeld. "We got a couple players healthy and the younger guys gained experience in our drill work and that transferred to games."
Undefeated New Salem-Glen Ullin and one-loss Oakes handed Kidder County 60-14 and 28-8 losses respectively, during Week 1 and 3. During the other weeks, the Wolves have outscored opponents 220-64.
"It's been a steady increase every week," Biesterfeld said. "The offensive line has started to gel, which is good because we'll only go as far as the guys up front."
Quarterback Jonah Harter has been handing the ball off to the duo of Parker Hager (850 rushing yards) and Isaiah Harter (760).
"It took 3-4 games to get him rolling and to read the defense well," Biesterfeld said of Jonah Harter. "He's doing a good job right now."
Defensive menace Jaxon Deckert was moved from defensive end to nose guard because of a injury in the middle of the defensive line.
"He's a special player," Biesterfeld said of Deckert. "At 6-foot, 190-pounds he's leading the team in tackles, which I've never seen before."
The Wolves will be facing a team similar to them, however, as the Pirates are coming into the contest on a three-game winning streak. This was after they lost four of five games to begin the season.
"They've got really good size, coached well and it seems like they went from a spread to a power running game, which they're doing well right now," Biesterfeld said. "They're peaking and playing their best football of the year right now."
Hankinson's run-heavy game and Kidder County's defensive line centered around Deckert could make for an interesting match up on Saturday afternoon.
"We've done well against the run so far," Biesterfeld said. "It'll be about matching up their size and using good technique."
The winner between the Wolves and Pirates will face New Rockford-Sheyenne (8-0) on Saturday, Oct. 20.
"I think when it comes to this time of year, we'll have teams that are so even that turnovers are big and getting the big play," Biesterfeld said.