Squadron faces tough stretch without QB

Published 3:31 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Highland Home Flying Squadron is out of the playoff picture thanks to last Friday’s 39-0 loss to the Goshen Eagles, but the team faces an even bigger challenge Friday in the form of the Elba Tigers.

To make matters worse, the Squadron is down a starting quarterback, Chase Mansmann, due to an injury suffered in only the second series of last Friday’s game.

“That hurt us a good bit and what we planned to do offensively,” said Highland Home head football coach Gregg Baker. “We struggled all night trying to move the ball.  It was a good game plan by Goshen—our guys just didn’t show up ready to play Friday.”

Facing a game without a starting quarterback is a daunting proposition on any week, but it’s especially tough when facing arguably the best team in Class 2A.

Baker said that this week, and next week, would easily make for the toughest stretch of the season.

“We’ve got Elba this week, who may be No. 1 in Class 2A, and then we’ve got Georgiana,” Baker said. “The deck is definitely stacked against us these next two weeks. We’re going to have to take a ninth-grade quarterback and throw him into the fire, but he’ll do a good job.  Daniel Phillips is the guy who’s getting the call, and Daniel will do a good job.  He’s a good football player, and he’s started all year on defense.  So we’ll call him Friday night and see what he can do.”

Baker said that Elba’s size and experience make them a powerhouse to contend with, but the key to victory would lie in limiting their opportunities to strike.

“Obviously, we can’t afford any turnovers,” Baker said. “I think it’s going to be very important for us to win time of possession.  Any time you give them the football, they’re capable of scoring—they’re that explosive.  They’ve got a bunch of two and three-play drives because they’re that explosive, so we can’t leave the ball in their hands.

“Hopefully we can grind it out, keep the ball out of their hands and keep the turnovers down to none.  If we can do that, then we’ve got a chance.”

The Squadron will host the visiting Elba Tigers Friday at 7 p.m.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.