FROST — —
Frost coach Eric Blenden talks ball control with his football team every day.
On the practice field. In team meetings.
Then when it happens as planned on Friday night, it only reinforces the Polar Bears’ overriding offensive philosophy — control the clock and the ball.
The Polar Bears established the momentum and that they were in it to win it last Friday against Chilton, going on a six-minute drive (plus a second) and scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. It fueled a 16-12 upset of playoff-regular Chilton.
Now comes a Region III-1A DII regional against Mount Enterprise (9-3), which is averaging 43 points in two playoff wins against Lovelady and Mount Enterprise.
Looks like the game plan will be the same one again this week for the Polar Bears.
“The more we have the ball, obviously the less damage they can do,” Blenden said. “That’s where they do their damage by running the ball. We can’t afford to let them run the ball too much. We have to shorten the game.”
Mount Enterprise rushed for 415 yards in last week’s 46-28 victory over Maud with senior running back Hunter Ammons doing most of the work. He had 340 yards and six touchdowns.
Ammons has 2,624 yards and 33 touchdowns running out of basically the same offensive formation as Frost, the Wing T.
“We’re blocking pretty well,” Mount Enterprise coach Scott Holzhauer. “We run the same offense as Frost. We were joking that the game could be over at 8:30.”
Frost’s Double Wing offense is built to control the ball. The Polar Bears had 56 snaps to Chilton’s 31.
That meant that Chilton quarterback Javarius Young wasn’t able to truly put his stamp on the game. He did get 21 carries for 136 yards, but it was a quiet night overall for the dangerous and fast Young.
Frost had two long, time-consuming drives where it didn’t score, which was disappointing, but it still kept the ball from Chilton.
“Our offense is growing together,” Polar Bears quarterback Jake Stroder said. “We make a good team.”
The way Mount Enterprise can score and the way Ammons is running it, the Wildcats need the ball.
“We have to tackle,” Holzhauer said. “They want to get four yards a pop.”
The Polar Bears are fundamentally sound. They average over four penalties per game, and they had just three for 25 yards against Chilton.
Frost has 14 turnovers, which averages out to over one per game. So the Polar Bears aren’t stalling out drives on their own.
“When you’re getting four or five yards a carry, you can’t have penalties that put you back in first-and-15,” Blenden said. “We have to be smart about what we’re doing.
“And we’ve done a good job, as many times as we run it and as many hits as we take, we’ve done a good job of protecting the ball. And that goes back to our offensive line. They’re only getting one or two guys to the ball instead of having four or five guys trying to strip it.”
Frost also relies on great balance. Steels leads Frost with 1,584 yards and 34 touchdowns. Wing back Robert Worley needs two yards for 1,000 on the season. Fullback Woody Woods, who was injured for part of the regular season, has 515 yards and scored on a screen pass against Chilton.
And don’t forget a factor that may have been lost against Chilton — the effectiveness of Stroder running the ball. He had 17 yards, but at least two runs he scrambled for first downs. He has 286 yards.
“We’re doing a really good job,” Steels said “All of our backs can make the tough yards.”
All of the backs praised the offensive line’s work against Chilton, which allowed Frost to out-physical a Pirates defense known for its toughness.
“Our line keeps getting stronger,” Worley said. “Our backs have been able to make plays and we work hard. We’ve become a family.”
Frost vs. Mount Enterprise
Region III-1A DII Regionals
7:30 p.m., Friday, Teague’s Lions Stadium
Players to Watch: Frost — QB/DB Jacob Stroder, RB/LB Danial Steels, C/LB Andrew Jackson, WR/DB Josh Riojas, NT Maliko Bruce. Mount Enterprise — RB/LB Hunter Ammons, TB Justin Johnson, QB Zach Moore, LB Dreon Oliver, DE/WB Chance Young.
Frost Mount Enterprise
11-1 Record 9-3
9-1A District 11-1A
35.8 Points Per Game 37.0
14.8 Points Allowed Per Game 20.0
316.6 Rushing Yards Per Game 338.1
125.4 Rushing Yards Allowed 216.7
71.0 Passing Yards Per Game 40.0
105.9 Passing Yards Allowed 6
Steels (1,584, 34 TDs) Rushing Ammons (2,624, 33 TDs)
Stroder (744, 8 TDs) Passing Moore (542, 6 TDs)
Riojas (298, 2 TDs) Receiving Josh Leadon (400, 4 TDs)
Jackson (67) Tackles Ammons (137)
Stroder (6) Interceptions Patrick Sanders (4)
Road to Teague
Def. Detroit, 28-14 Bi-District Def. Lovelady, 40-7
Def. Chilton, 16-12 Area Def. Maud, 46-28