After two exciting road wins in the post season Pella finally comes home tonight for a re -match with 4th ranked, undefeated Centerville in the Class 3A quarterfinal round of the high school football playoffs. Centerville beat Pella 44-43 in overtime in week three of the season at Centerville, now Pella hopes to return the favor and earn a return trip to the UNI Dome in the process. Pella coach Jay Mckinstrey says one of the reasons for Pella’s success the past few weeks is the focus and discipline of their defense.
“Our guys are doing a better job of being where they’re suposed to be, playing assignment football and understanding all the different stunts that Coach Dewaard calls and the different defensive looks we’re trying to give teams and that’s really made a difference” said Mckisntrey of his defense.
It’s no secret that Centerville’s power is their running game and Tanner Susin who has rushed for 1880 yards and 34 touchdowns in 11 games this season. Mckinstrey says they know they won’t totally stop a running back like Susin, but their focus is on trying to contain him as much as possible and force him to earn his yards.
“We’re not gonna stop Tanner Susin fom gaining yards, the idea is to control him and not let him break that big play. We don’t want him going 80 yards for touchdowns and making big plays on us. We just gotta keep poundin on him and poundin on him and try to prevent the big play. We want to make Centeville go the length of the field to score and if they do..more power to them, then maybe they are the better team but at least we made them earn it. That’s our goal and I think that’ll be big”
He says Pella must control the line of scrimmage, take care of the ball and not give the Big Red extra possessions off turnovers, and most importantly he says they must once again elevate their play to a higher level and maintain that for four quarters. The winner of tonight’s game advances to the Class 3A Semifinals at the UNI Dome to play either Decorah or New Hampton. You can hear tonight’s game live on 92.1 FM KRLS and kniakrls.com with Jamie Brockman and Randy Sikkema starting with the pre game at 6:30pm and kickoff will be at 7pm. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line and can do so today at the Pella High School office until 3:30pm. Also fans are encouraged to bring non perishable food or cash donations to the game for the 8th annual KNIA/KRLS Marion County Food Drive. We’ll be accepting your donations from 4-7pm near the entrance to the Pella football stadium. We’re asking Pella football fans to help us fill the Big Red Radio, and together we’ll fill the food shelves of Marion County.