Longmont football coach Doug Johnson admitted he had knots in his stomach before last Friday's first-round Class 4A playoff game with Pueblo South.
Although Johnson had supreme confidence in his Trojans and their ability on the football field, he said a case of the nerves just goes with the territory, especially against an unfamiliar foe.
Johnson is sure to have more butterflies when he takes second-seeded Longmont (11-0) to All-City Stadium to battle No. 10 Denver South (8-3) in a second round contest Saturday at 1 p.m. The Rebels are big and fast and are riding a wave of momentum after upsetting seventh-seeded Ponderosa 40-14 in the first round.
"I think they might be the most talented team in the field," Johnson said of Denver South. "They're very big and very athletic and their tailbacks run the ball very well."
Offensively, the Rebels rely on their run game, having racked up more than 2,300 yards on the ground during the regular season.
Leading that charge is Marcus Lindsay, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound junior who is the younger brother of University of Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay.
Marcus Lindsay, who is also being looked at by CU, finished the regular season averaging 134.8 yards a contest, including a 203 yard effort against Eaglecrest on Sept. 19.
Lindsay, who averages 7.7 yards per carry, ran for 134 yards or more in each of Denver South's final four regular season games.
"He's their Mark Ingram," Johnson said. "He's very fast and he runs north and south."
Lindsay isn't their only weapon in the backfield, however. Junior Quentin Johnson broke free for an 80-yard touchdown run against Ponderosa, and fellow junior Derius Pinkett ran for 427 yards and averaged just less than 11 yards a carry during the regular season.
"He's had a bunch of explosion plays," Doug Johnson said. "He breaks away and then has the speed to run away from people."
Coach Johnson said the Trojans aren't going to rely on any special schemes or gimmicks to try to stop the Rebels run game. Instead, they'll employ tried and true methods.
"We're just going to do normal stuff, put a bunch of guys in the box and play the run," Johnson said. "We'll try to have more men then they can block.
"It's not a new formula. It just needs to be done with tremendous effort."
Feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or story ideas at 303-473-1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org