For the first time this season, the McAuley Catholic Warriors are going into a game with the bigger guys up front.
So they want to capitalize.
“We want to run the ball,” McAuley coach Brenden Gubera said. “We have a size advantage. The offensive line is excited, because it’s the first time all year they’ve had the size advantage.”
Sixth-seeded McAuley (2-7) will be at third-seeded Rich Hill (5-4) in a Class 1 District 3 battle at 7 p.m. today.
Rich Hill is coming off a pair of lopsided victories, defeating Archie and Liberal by scores of 42-0 and 41-0.
“They’ve won three of their last four games,” Gubera said. “They are playing well at the right time of year. They’re not overly big, but they play well and they play disciplined football.”
Gubera said playing assignment football will be key against the Tigers offense.
“They have a base number of plays, but they do them out of multiple formations,” he said. “They also use trickeration. They run two or three trick plays about every game. The whole thing is making the kids aware of it, and it boils down to executing the game plan. If we’re executing, a trick play isn’t going to work because everyone is doing their assignment.”
Jacob Thompson leads the Rich Hill offense at quarterback.
McAuley quarterback Collin Lowry has completed 139 of 213 passes for 1,497 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s also rushed 245 yards and a touchdown on 54 attempts.
Andrew Castillo, who is out for the season with an injury, leads the Warriors with 280 yards rushing.
Ray Dohmen and Dylan Londo have rushed for 239 and 204 yards, respectively.
Adam Robertson and John Taylor also are expected to get carries.
“We’re going to try and rotate the four,” Gubera said. “We want to run the ball.”
Simeon Dohmen leads the McAuley receivers with 46 catches for 580 yards and six touchdowns. Robertson has 36 receptions for 431 yards and four touchdowns.
McAuley started the season 2-1, but has lost six straight.
Gubera said the Warriors are down to 19 healthy players.
“We’ve had to do a lot of walk-through style stuff at practice,” he said. “We’ve had to be creative.”