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Manhattan Tigers hope to kennel Glasgow Scotties, reach state championship

Undefeated Manhattan Tigers' balanced offense makes it 'tricky' for opponents to stop
Posted at 2:05 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 16:34:43-05

MANHATTAN — On Saturday there’s a big semifinal football game in Class B, as the third-seeded Glasgow Scotties are heading to Manhattan to take on the undefeated No. 1-seeded Tigers.

“One game at a time, one practice at a time, one play at a time, play your hardest every single play,” said Manhattan head coach Chris Grabowska.

The Tigers make the most of every opportunity they get on the field.

“The boys are ready, they’re confident," said Tigers special teams coach Ty Heaps. "Our game plan is to never overlook a single team. We’re not overlooking them whatsoever. We have to go through them to get to the state championship and we know that.”

The Scotties like to run ball. Quarterback Loden Idler is their second-leading rusher, averaging more than seven yards per carry. Their lead back, Jess Lee, has almost 1,000 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns.

“They’re a run team first. They do pass a little bit more than what we saw out of Malta," said Grabowska. "Our game plan is just going in and trying to focus on shutting down their run, maybe get them to pass a little bit more."

The Tigers know they’ll need to be more physical if they want to kennel the Scotties.

“I think that’s a huge key for us going against Glasgow, they’re a big, physical team," said Heaps. "We knew from the early season they were going to be a big challenge if we faced them.”

Manhattan has outscored its opponents 102-0 in the past two playoff games -- all due to its balanced offense. Opponents never know which way the Tigers' offense will come out and try and beat them.

“When you’re a balanced team you kind of have to pick your poison on the defense," Grabowska said of opposing defenses. "We’re able to determine what the defense is doing and we attack accordingly. If they stack the box, we’re probably going to air it out a bit more, if they sit in coverage and take guys out the box to cover receiver, we’re going to try and stick with our run game a bit more. It’s great to be balanced.”

After losing the state title game last year, the Tigers are more than eager to get back and win it.

“We got to have a great week of practice, they’re a great team," Grabowska said. "I know they’re a No. 3 team, but the North Conference is pretty good this year so we got to be ready to go.”