North Union’s Drake Price attempts to elude a Marion Harding tackler during Week 7’s football game at Harding. This week, the Cats will try to earn their first home win during Homecoming. NU will face Galion tonight.
The Wildcats are a team that has had some ups and downs this football season. The Cats find themselves with a 3-4 record after suffering their first road loss of the year last week at Marion Harding. North Union has also struggled to collect a win while on home turf, but this week could be different for the Cats.
Tonight is Homecoming. It is the one time of the year when schools get that extra motivation to do great things on the gridiron.
NU coach Nick Hajjar, though, said Homecoming can be a double edged knife.
“I’m sure kids get excited with some of festivities that go on and maybe some alumni that are returning, but with the festivities comes the challenge of keeping them focused at the task at hand,” he said. “There will have to be a balance.”
North Union will host Galion as the Tigers bring a 4-3 record with them. Despite the three losses, Hajjar is still wary that the Tigers are a team to not be underestimated.
“I think they are in a situation where they have played some really good football teams as well and with that, we are right there with them when it comes to that understanding,” he said. “Make no mistake, even though they have lost some games, they are still 4-3. If any of our kids or anyone thinks this game is going to be a pushover, they are mistaken.”
The Tigers have a lot of depth at the skill positions and size up front. However Hajjar believes his Wildcats have that same amount of depth that will make for a tough contest.
“They have some skill kids and three of them are on their 4×100 state track team,” he added. “They have really big size up front, so it is going to be a good game.”
Galion will use a spread style offense that likes to utilize its quarterback’s speed to move the ball either through the air or with his feet. The Tigers will also use a tight end to either block or as an out when things brake down on the pass.
With speed on the side of the Tigers, Hajjar said it doesn’t matter, as it is all about the angles.
“I think fast or not fast, it is all about angles,” he said. “It is all about the fundamentals of wrapping up and tackling and we got to continue to work on that as we move forward.”
The North Union defense will have to deal with a familiar foe in the Tigers’ defense, a 4-4 cover three defense that will pack the box on an NU team that is known for its ability to run the ball.
“It’s a very similar (defense) to what we seen over the last several weeks,” said Hajjar. “With us being a heavy run-oriented team, they are going to try and pack the box and get as many bodies in there to try and eliminate us from doing that.”
With this week being Homecoming, Hajjar’s Wildcats have one thing on their mind . . . win.
“For us this week is going 1-0 and getting a win at home,” he said. “That is something we can control and that is what we are going to focus on.”
The oportunity is there for the Cats to get that win, but this is tough league and on a given Friday the final score could swing either way.
Hopefully, the festivities of Homecoming will give the Cats what they need to get over the hump and get their first home victory.
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