SIREN – Ryan Karsten is hoping the home advantage is worth at least a few points.
If it is, the Siren football team will have a bit more breathing room and a playoff win on Friday.
Karsten and the Dragons drew a first-round matchup with Northwood-Solon Springs, which will be rematch of a close game in early September that the Siren won 28-26.
“(We) learned they are a good team with 13 seniors, they like to throw the ball with their senior quarterback and will do that again Friday,” Karsten said. “They are physical and it should be a great challenge for us.”
The Dragons scored 14 unanswered points to win the previous matchup, though both teams enter the postseason with 7-2 overall records. The Evergreens posted a 52-0 win over Clayton in their regular season finale while Siren thrashed Washburn-Bayfield 53-8 last Friday.
Siren scored four first-quarter touchdowns in their recent win, starting with a pair of touchdown passes from Jordan Webster. He connected with Trevor Stanford on a 17-yard touchdown pass and with Brady Kosloski on an 83-yard touchdown pass.
Cordell Fischer – who also kicked extra points in the game – added the next score on a 55-yard touchdown run, which Zach Doriott followed with a 1-yard run to give the Dragons a 25-0 lead to start the second quarter.
Webster added touchdown passes to Riley Churchhill and another to Stanford, while Fischer passed for one 2-point conversion and kicked an extra point. Siren took a 40-0 lead into halftime and that allowed for substitutions in the second half, helping keep the roster healthy to start the postseason.
“We are as healthy as we can be at this point of the season,” Karsten said. “All kids should be in uniform Friday night to be available to play.”
In the third quarter, the Dragons added to their lead with a touchdown pass from Webster to Mo Richter and a 33-yard touchdown run from Fischer. Washburn-Bayfield scored a late touchdown to avoid the shutout but the Dragons already had the game in hand.
Webster finished with 293 yards passing and five touchdowns; Stanford caught eight of those completions for a total of 149 yards. Fischer had 147 yards rushing on six carries. Gavyn Anton led the defense with 11 tackles; Fischer added eight and Stanford had three tackles with an interception.
Siren finished the regular season one game behind Shell Lake in the Lakeland North standings with a 5-1 record. Both the Dragons and the Evergreens lost to the Lakers.
But the concentration now shifts to again preparing for the Evergreens’ offensive options and their defense.
“Their quarterback and wide receiver are the biggest two threats on offense, but they have about seven other guys that can chip-in and hurt us,” Karsten said. “Their defense is fast, quick, and aggressive. Their linebackers tackle everything that moves.”
The game was scheduled for a 7 p.m. on Friday.