Finishing the season with a 3-6 record isn't exactly how most people thought the Indians would do this season, but with the district tournament arriving, the Indians have new life. From this point on, the team is 0-0 once again. The previous games do not matter; instead, what lies ahead is the focus for this Osage squad.
The first step in their postseason journey is the road trip to Salem on Thursday night. The two teams both finished 3-6, so it came down to the tie-breaker. Salem finished in fourth, while Osage took fifth, losing out to Salem by a margin of .08 points.
.08 away from home-field advantage.
That kind of margin means only one thing: this game could go either way. It will all come down to which team can figure out the weaknesses of their opponent faster. Either team could walk away from this match with a win, and as added incentive for the Indians, the winner will advance to take on the winner of the Eldon-Versailles game.
Coach: Dan Henderson
2012 Record: 7-5 Overall, 4-3 District
2013 Record: 3-6
Last Game: The Osage Indians football team won Friday's away conference game against Warsaw by a score of 60-46.
Players to Watch:
Jake Ulmer, Sr. TE/LB, #25: Ulmer has been a huge threat in the passing game this season, and finished all but one game with a touchdown. Last week, Ulmer and Riley connected five times for touchdowns in the win over Warsaw, so Salem will have to focus on shutting down not just the wide receivers, but this tight end as well.
Collin Samuelson, Jr. WR/DB, #5: Samuelson makes big plays on offense, but his true threat is on defense. Samuelson is a ballhawk, and has consistently been in a position to make the play. Last week, he came up big with two interceptions.
Justin Heiser, Jr. RB/DB, #2: Heiser is the embodiment of the "small, but mighty" type of player. The junior can easily be lost amongst the larger players, but he makes a knack of coming up with big plays at just the right moment.
Coach: Brian McNamee
2012 Record: 6-4 Overall, 4-3 District
2013 Record: 4-5
Last Game : The Salem Tigers football team won Friday's away conference game against Cabool by a score of 35-20.
Players to Watch:
Jr. RB Zayne Kyser: Salem's back rushed for over 200 yards in the win over Cabool last week, and stopping the run has been an issue for the Indians.
QB Dylan Wisdom: Wisdom rushed for 100 yards in the win over Cabool, and a mobile quarterback is a double threat for the Tigers.
Osage Keys to Winning:
1. Contain the offense. Osage's defense is made up of a number of younger players, but they all have experience. All they have to do is play smart, make their tackles and provide the team with a stop. Swarm towards the ball, and let sheer numbers stop the play if you have to.
2. Eliminate penalties. Nothing kills a drive quicker than a quick whistle and a loss of yards or a down. Don't be on the receiving end of it.
3. Get the ball to the playmakers. Osage has a number of talented receivers and tight ends, so making sure to put that ball in their hands could be the difference in the game, so the offensive line has to be sure to give the play time to develop, and let Riley find one of his receivers in the best possible matchup.