In this file photo, Jackson Cordell (20) of Triad runs down the field with a West Liberty tackler in tow. Cordell tallied 68 yards on seven carries and a touchdown during last week’s playoff win. The Cardinals will play at Coldwater on Saturday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The Triad football team has a huge challenge on its hands on Saturday (7 p.m.).
The Cardinals, who are the 17th seeded team in Division VI, Region 24, will take on top-seeded Coldwater in the second round of the state playoffs.
The game will be played on the Cavaliers’ field.
Triad coach Dylan Wears, however, said his team is fully prepared to take on the Cavaliers.
“We are very aware of who we are playing,” he said. “We are going on a two-game winning streak and have been playing the best ball we have been playing all year.”
The Cavaliers are a team that has a deep history of success in the playoffs.
They’ve captured six state titles, the most recent coming in 2015.
They are on track to make a solid push in this season’s playoffs, sporting a 6-0 record in the Midwest Athletic Conference.
Wears said his team is ready to make a run at a win in Week 2 of the post-season.
“Our kids have continued to work hard all season and have been getting better,” he said. “We are dialing in our identity, what works for us and throwing out what doesn’t.”
The consistent growth has been seen in the end results week-to-week.
The Cards pulled off an upset last week, beating higher-seeded National Trail 42-7.
That win was backed by a solid performance on the ground as well as through the air.
Quarterback Coleman Hauck, went six-for-nine for 244 yards, while picking up 30 yards on the ground.
Jackson Cordell and Hayden Simpson combined for 138 yards and two TD’s to help the Cardinals win.
Wears said he needs to see more of that execution out of his team this week if it wants to continue down the playoff trail.
“Coldwater is really good at not making mistakes,” he said. “They really don’t have a weak spot, which means we have to play good football against them.”
The lack of a weakness has been evident from the high-scoring Cavaliers all season. Coldwater has averaged more than 40 points per game, while picking up 2,251 yards of total offense along the way.
Those impressive stats have come mostly from senior quarterback Myles Blasingame.
He leads the MAC in rushing yards with 547 and six TDs and is fourth in the league in passing with 781 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Blasingame also has solid wide outs in Tyler Schweiterman, who has tallied 271 yards on 15 receptions for five touchdowns and Zach McKibben has found the end zone 10 times.
Regardless of Coldwater’s talent and history, Wears said his team isn’t intimidated.
“We have seen some of the top-ranked teams in D-VI this year in Mechanicsburg and West Jefferson, so we are just preparing as we always do,” he said.
Some of this week’s preparation has been to get his Cards as close to perfect as possible.
“Playing hard and physical, we have done well all season.” Wears said. “There are some areas we make mistakes in, like bad snaps or missing gap assignments.
“We just have to make sure we play mistake free.”