Posted 10/20/15 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
The Divide County Maroons did not earn home-field advantage for their playoff opener this Saturday at 2:30 p.m., but they have it anyway.
DC is the No. 2 seed from Region 6 in the North Dakota high school playoff bracket, but the Maroons would have been No. 4 had Kenmare-Burke County not forfeited its win against them from earlier in the year.
On the field, they have four wins and four losses; on paper, they’re 5-3. Either way, they’re decidedly the underdog in Saturday’s second-round match with 6-2 Mott-Regent.
“Mott’s probably very happy with the forfeit as much as we were,” Divide County offensive coach Bob Brown said. “The nice thing is, we can wake up and play right on our own field, rather than travel.”
While Mott cruised in its first-round game, a 44-0 shutout of Drake-Anamoose, the Maroons had an extra week to practice and treat any aches.
“We’re working on plays and making sure we’re getting them right,” Keaton Oien said.
“It’s kind of like starting the season -- we almost have the same amount of practices that we did at the beginning of the year,” Brown said. “I told the kids we’ll put in some different things that we haven’t done before, just because we’ve got some time to do that.”
Divide County last played Mott-Regent in 2011 and 2012, when they were in the same region; DC won both times.
“Take a look at the tape from this year and it looks exactly like they did five years ago,” DC defensive coach Nate Nelson said. “They’re pretty athletic -- good running back.”
Whatever the odds, Maroon players said they’re focusing on doing as well as they can.
“Just play good football,” Tyler Harward said. “Everyone needs to do their job.”
“We’re going to put our hearts out on the field,” Ryder Beauclair added, “and make it happen.”