The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Mike Motz 

Tigers Pose Playoff Hurdle for Raiders


October 19, 2018

Mike Motz

Sidney's Zach Pettit (77) and Cayden Jobman (72) flush the quarterback out of the pocket in last week's victory against Chase County. A strong defensive effort is expected tonight (Oct. 19) as the Red Raiders travel to Mitchell to take on the Tigers.

"We're not 100 percent guaranteed a playoff berth if we win," said Sidney head football coach Chris Koozer, adding, "but if we lose against Mitchell, it's going to be really hard for us to get into the playoffs."

The 5-and-3 Red Raiders have momentum coming off a 14-to-12 victory over the Chase County Longhorns last Friday, but now have to face a 4-and-4 Mitchell squad on the road also fighting for a playoff spot.

The Red Raiders hope their defense continues its' reliable play when it faces a Tigers offense that threatens both on the ground and in the air. Mitchell junior quarterback Blake Thyne has thrown for nearly 1000 yards on the season with 6 touchdown passes, while the Tiger's top two running backs have combined for over 1,000 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.

Coach Koozer had praise for the Mitchell offense, noting, "They have an athletic quarterback and his favorite target is his younger brother, who is very dangerous."

Mitchell freshman wide receiver Austin Thyne leads the Tiger receivers with 18 receptions for 469 yards and six touchdowns on the season.

Mitchell is a young team, but well coached and with good players at the skill positions. Coach Koozer thinks that last week's game against Chase County was good preparation for the Tigers.

"We kept their (Chase County's) offense off the field as much as possible by running 75 plays, and grinding it out. We only completed two passes the entire game."

Koozer is looking for a big performance from his defense, saying, "Against Chase County, we only gave up 14 yards rushing. We hope to continue that and attack their passing game."

That could be a good strategy utilize, as Tiger's quarterback Blake Thyne has thrown 8 interceptions in the season and the Red Raiders have been effective forcing turnovers. Add in a stout defensive line that's been tough to run against all season, and the Sidney boys look to have a good shot to punch their ticket for the playoffs.


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