In Class A football, last Friday’s regular season finale was a must-win if Hazen wanted a shot at the playoffs.
And they did not just win the game — they dominated.
One play during Hazen’s playoff-clinching win is a good marker for how this team operates.
“All of a sudden there’s a bunch of people on my back,” Isaac Doll said, “We started pushing and I knew I could get to the pylon, so that was just the aiming point. And they pushed me all the way there.”
The season has been just like this play. The initial fumble is like the early losses this season, but just like after every loss Hazen had, they picked themselves back up and carried each other to a win.
The Bison come into these playoffs with a knack for the running game.
“Our backs just running with their heads cut off pretty much,” Doll said. “Fullback is doing a nice job blocking and Tyson [Van Inwagen]’s doing a good job reading the blocks and making cuts off of it.”
But that doesn’t mean Hazen is flawless.
“We’re not complacent,” said head coach Bret Johnsrud. “We understand that we’re not where we want to be yet. We’re still getting better every day, and by coming with that attitude that we’re going to work and get better today, the possibilities are endless.”
Their first round opponent Velva also knows how to run the ball, and Johnsrud says the matchup is a great first round test for his guys.
“Coach Sandy does a nice job of getting guys into positions and different spots, and then running plays you’re maybe not expecting. I’d say the biggest thing will just be preparation, mental preparation, and then once we get on the field, we have to execute.”
This Saturday, Hazen travels to Velva for their first round playoff matchup. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. CST.