If you go…
What: Little Snake River Valley School six-man varsity football vs. Hanna-Elk Mountain High School
When: 3 p.m. Friday
Where: Hanna-Elk Mountain High School, off Wyoming Highway 72, in Hanna, Wyo.
“They have about five players who are over 230 pounds and they like to wear you down and pound the ball. They use motion to crack back on guys, so we will have to offset that with our biggest guy, Jake Ready. The formation is easy to read, if you know what is coming. If you are not ready, it can catch you off guard.”
— Mike Bates, Little Snake River Valley School six-man varsity football head coach, on taking care of Hanna-Elk Mountain’s effective run game
In the Little Snake River Valley School six-man varsity football team’s first Friday game of the season, the Rattlers find themselves in a rematch of the 2010 Wyoming State Championship game.
LSRV (4-0) travels Friday to Hanna-Elk Mountain High School, off Wyoming Highway 72, in Hanna, Wyo.
In the state championship game Nov. 12, 2010, in Laramie, Wyo., the Rattlers easily handled Hanna, 67-12.
Hanna, however, battled LSRV to one of Rattlers’ closest games during the 2010 regular season on Oct. 8, with the Rattlers coming out on top, 50-34.
“I told the guys it is like a border war because we are the only two six-man football teams in the same county,” head coach Mike Bates said. “We beat them twice last year, so they have 10 reasons to get on the field and take us down.”
The Miners, however, are without their best receiver, running back and quarterback from last season. All three graduated in May.
The losses have affected Hanna, which started the season 0-3 before earning its first victory Sept. 24.
Bates said his team still prepared for Hanna like any other team, despite its record.
On offense, Bates said he expects the Miners to run a similar I-formation to his squad.
But, Hanna pounds the ball like an 11-man team because of their size.
“They have about five players who are over 230 pounds and they like to wear you down and pound the ball,” Bates said. “They use motion to crack back on guys, so we will have to offset that with our biggest guy, Jake Ready.
“The formation is easy to read, if you know what is coming. If you are not ready, it can catch you off guard.”
While the Rattlers’ running game leads the way with senior Daniel Wille at the helm and the defense continues to shut teams down, the passing game hasn’t been effective.
Junior Zach Filip is averaging just over 63 passing yards per game.
And, while the Rattlers are a running team, Bates said he continues to want to improve the passing game.
“I think we will start with some short passing plays and then have him air it out,” he said. “Zach can scramble and he has a great arm, but most of his long passes have come on broken plays. I want to see if he can do it on a designed play.”
Bates said the game would come down to whichever defense has the better game.
Through four games, the Rattlers have 10 interceptions, the most of any six-man team in the country, according to MaxPreps.
“Defense wins championships, and I think that is even more true in six-man football,” Bates said. “Unlike 11-man football, teams in six-man aren’t suppose to go three and out. If we can force opponents to do that, we are doing our jobs.”
Despite the Rattlers’ 4-0 record and 14-game win streak, Bates said in a game like this, anything can happen.
“We are going to have to play the best we have all year,” he said. “We have to come out on fire and take advantage of any mistakes they make while at the same time limiting our mistakes.
“I always reiterate to the team that we have to leave the field exhausted. This team has wanted another chance at us since last year.”
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