By Justin Hunter
CHURUBUSCO – Churubusco’s football first-round sectional matchup is 34 years in the making. The Eagles have not played Northfield (7-1) since 1983, but will have their shot at home against the Norsemen this Friday at 7 p.m.
Facing the Northfield offense is no easy task to begin post season play. The Norsemen are averaging just under 41 points a game.
“On offense, Northfield is very dynamic,” said Churubusco head coach Paul Sade. “They run an option offense and spread the ball around to a lot of very good athletes. Their ability to spread the ball around makes them difficult to key in on one player in particular.”
The Northfield defense will also be a daunting task for the Eagles. The Norsemen have allowed a touchdown or less in four of their games this season.
“Northfield runs a 4-4 and plays extremely aggressive. They play fast downhill and have amassed over 65 tackles for loss this year,” Sade said.
Northfield has a few playmakers on offense that have caused defenses troubles this year. Quarterback Jake Fulkerson has amassed 654 passing yards for 12 touchdowns. The sophomore has just thrown just five interceptions this season. Fulkerson has also scored three running touchdowns and tallied 256 yards on the ground.
The Norsemen also has a pair of running backs that carry the ball often in the option offense. Kyle Reed has had a special senior season. Reed has carried the ball 122 times for 798 yards and six touchdowns. Reed nearly averages 100 yards per game, and the Eagles defense must contain his rushing attacks.
The Norsemen have another dangerous runner in Matt Coe. The senior averages an astonishing 11 yards per carry, all for 733 yards this season. Coe has the ability to break loose for large gains. His longest carry for the season was for a 91-yard score. Coe has broken the goal line for 14 rushing scores. He also has 336 receiving yards for six touchdowns.
Sade told his football team after their win against Fairfield that they’ll need to play their best football to get out of their sectional.
Northfield will impose a great task for the Eagles.
“We are trying to heal up and prepare for a very physical contest against a very aggressive team,” Sade said.
“We need to play assignment football and execute this week if we are going to have a chance to win.”