Tonight I will head up to Princeton to watch a 4/5 matchup between 5 seed Big Lake Hornets (2-6) against the 4 seed Princeton Tigers (4-4). The regular season is over now everyone is 0-0, I will go in-depth on…
Tonight I will head up to Princeton to watch a 4/5 matchup between 5 seed Big Lake Hornets (2-6) against the 4 seed Princeton Tigers (4-4). The regular season is over now everyone is 0-0, I will go in-depth on offense, defense, and the outcome of this game and I’ll pick a winner.
The Tigers have a very run-heavy offense and will rely heavily on RB Cole Carlson (Sr, 2020) who was a 1000 yard rusher for the Tigers in the regular season. Princeton was a 3-2 team this year when he rushed for at least 100 yards. The Tigers have seen good work in the last 2 games out of QB Ben Arseneau (Jr. 2021) who has completed over 57% of his passes in his starts over the last 2 games and is averaging about 133 yards passing per game. The Tigers receiving threat is in the NFN power rankings and that is WR Colton Malecha (Sr. 2020) who has accounted for more than half of the Tigers receiving touchdowns this year and is averaging a spectacular 22 yards per catch this season. Aside from Malecha, Arseneau will also go to Adam Tarvestad (Sr. 2020) who is second to Malecha in touchdowns and receiving yards this season
Big Lake Hornets
A name you should know from the Hornets is RB DeAndre Hill (Sr. 2020). We’ve covered him quite a bit thru NFN, but this will be the first live-action we will get of him tonight against the Tigers. He is an explosive runner out the gates and I expect him to lead the charge for the Hornets tonight on offense. He has already recorded one 300-yard rushing game this season. The receiving core runs 3 deep for the Hornets with Jack Iverson (Jr. 2021) and with brothers Hayden Thielke (So. 2022) and Colter Thielke (Sr. 2020).
Key defenders to watch for Princeton tonight are Devin Dahlheimer (Sr. 2020), Haydn Stay (2022, So.) and Manny Flicek (Jr. 2021) as they have been the leading tacklers for a loss and tackling leaders for the Tigers this season.
Big Lake Hornets
I see three players I will be watching tonight for Big Lake on defense. The leading sack leader for the Hornets Matthew Wolfe (Sr. 2020) as well as Hunter Holum (Sr. 2020) and Carson Steen (Sr. 2020). They will need to be a key factor tonight against the Tigers, as the Hornets defense has allowed 54 points per game in their last three games despite 2 of the 3 teams being in the state power rankings (Bemidji and Hutchinson).
What I love about section playoffs is that every game matters. If you lose, your out and every team are now 0-0 regardless of your seed. This is a game of two of the biggest 2020 running backs you will see in this neck of the woods in DeAndre Hill of Big Lake and Cole Carlson of Princeton. I do think Princeton has a significantly stronger defense seems to be playing better overall football than the Hornets are. Granted, Big Lake played Hutchinson (best-ranked team in 4A) and Bemidji (9th ranked team in 5A) in the last two of the last three weeks which neither gave them a fair shake but I expected those to be games they would compete in, in which they did were held scoreless by both teams. With that being said, I have the Princeton Tigers moving on to play 1 seed Becker in the section semifinals on Saturday 10/26 at 7 PM in Becker.