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Though it is undersized, Comanche’s offensive line consistently opens holes and allows the skill players to get plenty of room on offense. This will be tested on the road against Lindsey on Friday.
Coming off a solid 26-20 victory against Frederick, the Leopards (3-2, 2-0) pose a significant threat to the Indians’ (3-2, 2-0) momentum. Comanche has won three straight games, and the high-flying offense has put up 85 points combined in two of those wins (the other was a forfeit). Most of those points came on the ground from senior quarterback Hunter Rice, who can take it the distance anytime he touches the ball.
“He gives us a real big threat,” senior offensive lineman Cody Crow said during practice Wednesday. “Especially, when we like to pass the ball. He gives us basically a sixth threat that the defense can’t cover. It makes blocking a whole lot easier.”
Both teams will try to spread out the defenses in different ways. Lindsay likes to run more of a spread offense, while Comanche relies on an option look with plenty of motion. There will be a lot of handoffs Friday night, but the biggest difference could be the Lindsay receivers.
“They are fast and have good hands,” coach Steve Justus said. “They aren’t quite as tall as they have been in the past. About three years ago they could run like the wind, and they had two or three receivers who were 6 foot 4”.
“You could have as good of coverage as you could possibly have, you could be glued to their chest, and they could still out-jump you.”
The physicality of those receivers hasn’t changed, though, and that presents problems for Comanche, which doesn’t have six-foot tall corners. What Comanche can bring to offset them is speed. That is, as long as the turnovers don’t drag them down by their ankles. While maintaining possession has been a problem for the Indians, Justus is more upset with the mental errors that occured on two long kickoff returns.
“Most of their scoring came off our miscues, and we’re working on that to try to make sure that doesn’t happen again this week,” Justus said. “We looked out there at one point on Saturday when we were looking at our film, and out of the 11 people who were on the kickoff team, six of them were freshmen.”
While that would scare any coach, one of Justus’ best assets has been freshman kicker Matt Headley. He has proven to be consistent at short-range field goals and extra-points, which is something you don’t see everyday in class 2A. Still, youth usually causes mistakes, and with nine freshman on the roster, Justus is familiar with the growing pains.
“Some of those kids are good kids, but they just haven’t had quite the experience that the other kids have had,” Justus said.