5 keys to playoff week one against Mattawan

Adjust to the modified wing-T offense:

With Mattawan running a version of the wing-T, it will be important for the Ranger defense to make an early adjustment against this offense. They should be more prepared following a week eight win against the wing-T from Cedar Springs but it is a tough offense to handle nonetheless. The Wildcats of Mattawan use plenty of motioning across the set and the pulling guard to try to create numerous deceptions throughout their drives. It will be huge for FHC to stop them early.

Slow down the offense, slow down the team:

It kind of goes along with the first key to this week, but is a more broad overview of Mattawan’s team. The Wildcats do average just over 27 points a game, which can be daunting for the Rangers to come in and play. However, Mattawan gives up about 25 points a game on the other side of the ball. If Mattawan’s offense comes out slow, the defensive talent becomes no match for the opponent on the other sideline. In Mattawan’s two losses on the season, they are averaging just over 11 points of offense, while giving up over 34 points per game.

Stick to the roots and the ground game:

With FHC going into the playoffs at 9-0, it can be easy to press and try to live up to the expection of the #1 seed in region one. It will be a big stepping stone for FHC this week to get themselves in a playoff groove, and use the ground game just as effectively as the passing game against the Wildcats. If the Rangers can keep their backfield in tact, it will provide a massive boost heading into later weeks of the playoffs.

Stay turnover free:

Although this is an obvious one, it is still one of the biggest keys of the week for FHC. With a very winnable game on hand, it will be essential for FHC keep Mattawan from having any unnecessary possessions that were given to them by the offense. Junior quarterback Luke Majick is a rookie to these playoffs and has to show his ability to throw the ball downfield in higher pressure situations, without finding the guys in blue and yellow on the other side. Likewise, the Ranger backfield is young to these playoffs, so they will need to mature quickly and keep the ball with our offense.

Key players of the week:

Returning starters from last year’s team are all responsible for getting this week one win. With last year’s playoff experience under their belts, it will be huge from them to take the lessons they’ve learned and help the underclassmen keep their composure this week. Senior captain Elijah Gurley is coming off of a defensive player of the week, and will be a huge foundation for the Rangers to look to on both sides of the ball.