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The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

October 25, 2018 Offensive revolution propels Huskies into playoffs
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Coming off a 2-7 record in 2017, there weren’t many people in Riverside thinking about a playoff team at Highland. The Highland players, of course, had other plans, and after two upsets of ranked teams, the Huskies propelled themselves to a 7-2 record and an at-large playoff bid.

So what’s the secret stuff for the Huskies? A willingness to work hard to turn the program around.

“It was basically just the determination to turn stuff around,” Highland runningback Cole Adamson said. “Highland’s kind of known for having a not-so-great football team, but good leadership by players like Brady Hahn, Cory Stewart and Trey Lasek really opened our eyes to how good we actually are.”

The Huskies are in the middle of an offensive revolution thanks in part to co-head coach Joe Donovan’s offense and in part the athletic ability of their skill players.

“The whole idea coming into this season was getting a chance to get the ball in all their hands and keep us balanced,” Donovan said.

The Huskies have 3,282 yards of offense and average 7.4 yards per play this season with 33 total offensive touchdowns. Highland has four rushers with at least 300 yards: Lasek (1,055), Brady Hahn (559), Cole Adamson (375) and Jordan Sosa (308). Then on the passing end of things the Huskies have four receivers with at least 100 yards receiving: Stewart (325), Mason McFarland (292), Adamson (111) and Sosa (107).

That offensive firepower combined with what Donovan said is their best offensive line in his four years at Highland has proved the Huskies a tough team to deal with.

“It still comes down to whether we can control the line of scrimmage when we need to, and I think we’ve done that more this year than any since I’ve been here,” he said.

Donovan, who is co-coach with Scott Morel, handles the offense and Morel the defense. This week both units will need to play well against a familiar foe in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.

The Huskies will face off with Durant, who comes in with a 7-2 record and a Class A District 6 championship. The Wildcats defeated Highland 14-0 in a night slowed down by weather on Oct. 5. Durant is the No. 5 seed by RPI with the Huskies at No. 12.

“We just didn’t do a great job of getting everybody to the ball and they took advantage of that,” Adamson said.

Durant’s Tristan Hughes rushed the ball 38 times for 262 yards with two other backs pushing the Wildcats over 300 yards rushing during the matchup. Offensively, the Huskies said they will look to try and find a way to use their speed against the size of Durant.

“We know between the tackles they’re big and have great linebackers. So how do we get our speed where they aren’t fast? That’s our goal,” Donovan said.

The game, which is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Durant High School, could potentially be the first playoff win for Highland since they split off from a cooperative football program with Lone Tree in 2007. Adamson said that takes the pressure off the Huskies.

“Highland has never won a playoff game since Highland-Lone Tree played together, so we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he said.

With a win, Highland would face off against the winner of the No. 1 Hudson versus No. 18 Lynnville-Sully game.

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