Despite a 28-14 loss to Masuk
in the Class L state quarterfinals this past Tuesday, North Haven constructed a 17-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Joe Schwab's
1-yard TD run. The drive lasted almost nine minutes. The Indians held the ball for all but 90 seconds in that third quarter.
North Haven then recovered an on-sides kick and later scored to tie the game at 14 before Masuk
pulled away and earned the victory.
Now it's Hand's turn to stop the Masuk
express. The Panthers have scored a state-best 575 points this season. Both teams enter Saturday's contest unbeaten. Kickoff between the No. 2 seed Hand and No. 3 Masuk
is set for 7 p.m. at West Haven's Ken Strong Stadium.
"Our game is like their (Mausk
) game," Hand coach Steve Filippone
said. "Our game is a balanced attack of short passing mixed in with a few runs."
and Hand operate out of a spread offensive attack, and Filippone
expects both teams' offenses to do what they do best, which is passing the ball.Masuk
senior QB Casey Cochran is the best at the position in the state, and he has targets in seniors Jason Piontkowski
and Brandon Cusmano
and junior Thomas Milone
Hand counters with senior quarterback Henry Foye
and senior receiver Nick Vitale
, among other weapons.
"I'd love to say, yes, we're going to do what North Haven did, that we're going to put our hand on the ground and we're going to use our big backs and rip at them and be happy to have a 15-play drive," Filippone
said. "That's not going to happen; that's just not the way we play anymore here. We're going to play the way we play.
"No one's going to stop them (Masuk
). Are we going to shut out Masuk
? If I were a betting man, I would bet the house we're not getting a shut out. If we're fortunate enough to hold them to four touchdowns, we have a shot at winning the game."
Labels: Class L, Hand, Masuk, playoffs, SCC, SWC