(Johnson) -- Johnson-Brock looks to continue their dominant play of late this afternoon when they host Allen in a Class D2 2nd Round playoff matchup in Nebraska.
The Eagles (9-0) rolled to an 82-3 opening round win over Pender last Thursday night. Cole Fossenbarger led the way with 179 yards passing and four touchdowns, including two to Ty Hahn and one each to Kaden Glynn and Dylan Rowe.
“We didn’t start off the best,” Eagles coach Mitch Roberts told KMA Sports. “We had plenty of things we could clean up after the first couple drives. We cleaned it up and were able to dominate (in all facets).”
Roberts added he was most impressed with the defense. Senior Seth Moerer led the way with nine total tackles and a sack while sophomore Max Kahland and freshman Mason Benham also added one sack each. The Eagles forced five turnovers with interceptions from Glynn and Fossenbarger and fumble recoveries by Connor Smith, Dylan Rowe and Ethan Brown.
“In 8-Man, it’s really tough to not give up very many points,” Roberts added. “I think we’re averaging around 10 points per game allowed. That’s been really impressive. They just bring a totally different attitude than what we’ve seen in past years, and they’ve been playing really well.”
Roberts points to the finish to his team’s regular season as a driving force of momentum heading into the playoffs. In weeks eight and nine, Johnson-Brock beat state playoff teams Meridian and Falls City Sacred Heart.
“Meridian was a very physical team, so I wanted to see how our kids would respond to a power run team,” Roberts said. “I thought we played very well and were able to put up a bunch of points. Sacred Heart helped us see where we truly fall in the state. You never know until you play a team like that. We were fortunate to come away with a win, and the guys are playing at a high level right now.”
This afternoon’s opponent – Allen (6-3) – is coming off a 60-26 win over Emerson-Hubbard. Dave Uldrich’s Eagles rely on a power running game, led by senior Kyle Smith, who has 1,361 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season. Smith has also passed for 258 yards and three scores.
“They’re really athletic and physical,” Roberts said. “It’ll be another tough test for us. These are the kind of teams that have knocked us out of the playoffs the last three or four years. I’m really excited to see where we stand in terms of a good power run football team.
“We need to just control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We like to throw the ball, but we like to establish the run as well. When you get a good physical team like this you never know how things will fall into place. We need to slow down their running back and power running game and get (the run) established for us as well.”
Trevor Maeder will be in Johnson later this afternoon for the matchup. Follow him on Twitter @TrevMaeder96 for updates. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM.
Coach Roberts made his comments on Wednesday’s KMA Sports feature. Hear the full interview below.