KEARNEY — University of Nebraska at Kearney has struggled adjoin battling Fort Hays aback the two programs accept been a allotment of the MIAA. The Tigers accept won all six MIAA amateur adjoin the Lopers, afterwards UNK captivated an 8-2 advantage in RMAC play.
The Lopers’ (4-3) aftermost achievement adjoin Fort Hays (5-2) came in 2005. They will attending to end that band aback they aboveboard off adjoin the Tigers at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ron and Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field.
Here are three areas to watch in Saturday’s game:
Strong aboriginal quarter
UNK came out collapsed adjoin Northwest Missouri on Saturday. It amount the Lopers, as the Bearcats denticulate 21 of their 27 credibility in the aboriginal 15 minutes.
The Lopers adapted their defense, but the team’s abridgement of success in the aboriginal division aching them in the end. The Bearcats won 27-13.
Learning from that aberration is analytical adjoin Fort Hays, said drillmaster Josh Lynn. The Tigers are accepting votes in the Division II poll and sit additional in the MIAA standings, afterwards acceptable the appointment appellation with an 11-0 mark in 2017.
Fort Hays’ quarterback
Senior Jacob Mezera has been one of the MIAA’s top quarterbacks this season. He’s completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 1,706 yards, 14 touchdowns and bristles interceptions in seven games. He ranks additional in the appointment in casual yards and touchdowns.
“Everything goes through that chief quarterback,” Lynn said. “He’s a absolutely acceptable amateur and has been the face of their affairs for three years now. We accept to get him shut bottomward to be successful.”
Charles Tigner has spear-headed Fort Hays’ hasty attack. The inferior active aback has 97 carries for 558 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers are averaging 29.6 credibility and 415.1 yards per game, while acceptance 18.9 credibility and 350.9 yards.
Northwest Missouri was acceptance 10.2 credibility and 281 yards per d above-mentioned to its antagonism adjoin the Lopers. UNK racked up 331 absolute yards of offense.
The Lopers additionally had abstinent success active the brawl adjoin a aegis that was acceptance 2.2 yards per backpack and hadn’t surrendered a hasty account in 19 games.
Quarterback Alex McGinnis acquaint a team-high 44 yards on 16 carries. He additionally plunged into the end area alert for the Lopers, who accomplished with 132 yards on the ground.
Junior Darrius Webb, who led the MIAA in hasty above-mentioned to Saturday’s game, sat best of the d and acquaint four carries for 13 yards.
UNK’s abhorrent success came after starting redshirt green appropriate accouterment Corey Hoelck, who suffered a lower-left leg abrasion adjoin Lindenwood on Oct. 6.
Redshirt green Lucas Troyer abounding the abandoned larboard by Hoelck and will abide to serve in that role adjoin Fort Hays.
“He’s arena absolutely able-bodied for us,” Lynn said. “He’s been actuality anytime aback we’ve been here. He’s been agog to comedy and get his opportunity.”
UNK’s breach is averaging 30.4 credibility and 415 yards, including a league-best 279.4 rushing, per d this season. The aegis has additionally been impressive, acceptance the second-fewest credibility (17.9) and yards (304.4) per contest.
Running the brawl finer will be key for the Lopers. Fort Hays’ aegis presents challenges for opposing casual attacks. The Tigers accept a MIAA-best 11 interceptions this season.
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