Corey's Corner 3/22

Posted 3/22/17 (Wed)

               In team sports, the emphasis is always on the whole. The importance is taken off the individuals and given to the team. But the players matter, in every sport. Especially in football.  Especially at the Quarterback position. And the Bismarck Bucks were without their starting QB in their rematch vs. the Sioux City Bandits. Jon Bane got hurt late in the matchup with Muskegon. Still, he stayed in and earned the win for Bismarck. But he was out for the home opener. Nevertheless, the Bucks put on a strong effort in front of an incredible crowd at the Bismarck Event Center.

              Quarterback is the single most important position in sports, and a change in that spot causes all kinds of ripple effects. That domino effect began right away as one of the Bucks top receiving threats was tasked with running the offense. The ex-Marauder Elby Pope had the tall task of trying to fill Bane’s shoes. It was time to break out the good ol’ Wildcat offense. An ordinarily pass-prone offense went straight to the ground, early and often. Pope executed the read-option offense well, and once again showed how lethal he is in space. And the second-game starter at running back Tyler Floyd was also a huge part of the gameplan. The guy out of Utah State, who was originally signed as a DB, got right around the 20 carry plateau as the Bucks continued to probe in the rushing game.

               It was a field position kind of game. The Bucks first drive ended in a field goal attempt that would be no good off the foot of new kicker Evan Connolly, who showed some incredible leg in warm-ups and throughout the game. He’s going to be really good. But the 3-point attempt would set the tenor of the game, as it was a defensive war. Jeff Mack would run off left tackle for the first TD of the game, giving the Bandits the lead. But that was one of the few times the ball would cross the goal line. The biggest reason was the Bismarck defense.

The Bucks front was unbelievable in this one. Ty Ezell, Brendan Daley, and Isiah Dunning controlled the Sioux City front from the word go, and the defensive backs stayed in front of their guys in the back. The Blue Hawk secondary of Michael Thompson and Antwan Smith shined. Sioux City had some injuries to deal with, but so did Bismarck. And in the war of attrition that is the game of football, it was the front 3 leading the way for the hometown team. And without their starting QB, it was the exact type of inspired effort that Bismarck needed vs. one of the top teams in the league. But football isn’t a two phase game. And the special teams made their presence felt too, building off the big guys up front. Ty Ezell knocked down a long FG attempt by Sioux City, and Michael Thompson made his second huge play in two weeks with a return TD. He would actually have two returns on the day, as the second brought the football to the goal line again. Bismarck had it close in the final few minutes, before the Sioux City icon Frederick Bruno crossed the goal line to put it just out of reach. A 30-16 final score is as low scoring as you’ll see in indoor football, and this one did see the fewest points of any CIF game this year. The Bucks D really showed what it can do, and they hope to carry that momentum into a battle with another of the CIF’s top teams: the Bloomington Edge. Be sure to join us Saturday night from Illinois!