How Mishawaka plans to beat Michigan City in the section final


MISHAWAKA – There isn’t much that connects childbirth to football. But Mishawaka coach Keith Kinder has found a way with this year’s playoffs only his team don’t fight for nine months, rather another week of football to extend their season.

Last Friday, the seventh-ranked Cavemen beat the No.6 Concord 35-7 in the section semifinals to advance to the Class 5A playoffs. Now they have a chance of winning a fourth straight sectional championship on Friday night when the Michigan City No.10 visits Steele Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.

“The good thing is we’re still playing,” Kinder said. “It was the topic of discussion all week and it’s the same topic of discussion this week. Like every week now, it’s like being reborn and you are fighting to stay alive for another rebirth. that we’re trying to do right now. “

Kinder said the Cavemen played their best game of the season in last Friday’s win over Concord, exorcising some regular-season demons.

â–º More:Not this time! Cavemen # 7 dominate Concord # 6 in muddy semi-final battle

The Minutemen beat Mishawaka 38-24 in September, but the Cavemen were without All-State quarterback Justin Fisher with a knee injury.

“It’s just the fact that we, as a team – not even me individually – felt like we stole one 35 days ago,” the senior quarterback told the South Bend Tribune. after the game. “We had a Conference title stolen from us (Northern Lakes) because we weren’t better that night. It all came down to this, and we came out spirited and ready to go. “

Mishawaka coach Kieth Kinder during the Mishawaka vs Concord sectional football game on Friday, October 29, 2021 at Concord High School.  Kinder will look to lead his team to a fourth straight section title against Michigan City.

There’s a lot that Fisher and Mishawaka’s offense did really well a week ago, including leading the Minutemen by almost 400 yards. But before preparations for Friday’s game, Kinder was more concerned with the details with which his team hesitated.

In last week’s game, the caveman escaped three times (losing one) and also returned the ball to the downs at the 1-yard line. Kinder believes his team have wasted their best scoring opportunities.

“I was disappointed to turn the situation around on the downs and to reverse him in the second half when we could have gone up,” he said. “We cannot do this and we are waiting to move on.”

Mishawaka's Chase Gooden kicks the ball during the Mishawaka sectional football game against Concord on Friday, October 29, 2021 at Concord High School.

Wolves have one of the most explosive offenses in the region, led by sophomore quarterback Tyler Bush. They have scored over 40 points in four of their last five games, including a 42-0 shutout last week against South Bend Adams in the section semifinals.

“Most importantly, their three losses (Chesterton, Valparaiso and Merrillville) are probably against three teams that would be the best team on our schedule,” said Kinder. “They’re the fastest team we’ve probably played against in our five years. Their overall team speed is amazing. Just our normal principles. Our defense has to run in football. We have to rally the tackle and we have to. watch out for football. “

During the playoffs, errors are amplified and can become more costly. This is why Kinder has anchored in the minds of its players that they never know when a turnover, penalty or error can be the deciding factor in a game.

“You have to maximize these opportunities,” Kinder said. “We want to have as few possessions as possible and we want to maximize our possessions. When we don’t score on the fourth and the first goal, either we flip it or we have a penalty kick that puts us in a bad pass down and distance is one thing we can’t have. “

“Just understanding that alignment and affectation is going to be really important, and run into football and tackle,” Kinder said. “If we don’t tackle well we’re not going to win. We have to tackle well and take care of the football. If we do both of those things, we’ll have a chance in the fourth quarter.”


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