Gainesville Daily Register

November 27, 2012

FOOTBALL: Muenster gears up for playoff showdown with Albany

Keith MacPherson, Sports Editor
Gainesville Daily Register

MUENSTER — Muenster is taking lessons from Munday.

The No. 1 state-ranked Moguls have helped shaped the season for Muenster and now the Hornets are hoping for a little help from their District 8-1A Division II foe.

Muenster and Region II-1A Division II regional playoff opponent Albany have more than just a date at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Springtown in common. Both have also fallen at the hands of Munday.

“There is a lot to take from (the Albany and Munday game),” Muenster coach Brady Carney said. “We don’t have the same speed that Munday has but we do a lot of things similar. We run primarily out of the shotgun with a tight end and so does Munday. So there is a lot of things that will help.”

Muenster (9-3) has been on a roll since its 45-10 loss to Munday on Oct. 26, rattling off four consecutive wins while outscoring opponents 189-24.

The loss against Munday served as a bit of a wake up call for the Hornets -- one that past Muenster teams might have lacked in the past.

“We are playing better football and not turning the ball over nearly as much,” Carney said. “Another thing is facing a team like Munday, our kids took something from that night. I think it showed that we have to play faster and more physical if we wanted to compete with the best teams in the state.”

The Hornets have switched quarterback Hunter Klement to the primary signal-caller of the offense and now use Mason Binder as a tight end, running back and part-time quarterback to take advantage of his athleticism to add another detention to their offense.

The personnel change at quarterback mixed with the emergence of running back Steven Flusche as well as the continued consistency of Trevor Hess has helped the Hornets roll to blowout wins in each of their two playoff games.

“We have a lot of kids that can make plays,” Carney said.

While Muenster might not have the spotless record it has had in the past two seasons going into the third round of the playoffs, that shouldn’t deter the Hornets in any way. Carney and the Hornets went into last offseason trying to make their schedule a bit tougher than in the past to prepare themselves for the playoffs better.

All three teams that Muenster lost to this season -- Lindsay, Nocona and Munday -- are still alive and well in the playoffs. The Hornets cruised past the rest of their schedule.

“When I got here, the schedule was handed to me and it wasn’t as competitive as you would typically like for a team with goals of going three or for rounds into the playoffs,” Carney said. “I think that hurt us some last year because we felt we had a chance to beat Mart. The problem came when we had to play them for four quarters and we hadn’t had to do that all year. So we had to play a tougher schedule. Do I want us to lose? No. But I wanted game to push our kids and I think we were able to do that.”

The tougher schedule and a tested Hornets squad could be all the difference against an Albany team that will pound the football all game long. Albany (10-1) has a straight-forward offense in every sense of the term.

“Albany is a good team,” Carney said. “They run the ball well from an offensive stand point. They have a couple of good-sized linemen on a line that does a good job blocking. They will line up in a two-back, I-formation under-center and try to play smash mouth football.”

A good Albany against a tough Muenster team will be a good match up as the winner will likely have to face a familiar foe in the next round as they will play the winner of Munday and Hamlin.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” Carney said. “We are going to have to have a couple of things go our way. We feel we can move the ball some and put up points. They are going to put up points, too. If we can get a couple of stops and create a turnover or two, I think that will be key.”