When the Central Plains High School football team began this season, they were talking about how well the players were gelling together.
The school’s main concern was how a group of kids would play together after spending so many years as rivals.
Oilers head coach Chris Steiner assured that everything was great, that everybody was playing “for the team instead of playing for themselves.”
Now Central Plains is two games away from playing in an Eight-Man Division-I state championship game.
The Oilers face their next test on Saturday night at 7 against South Gray in Montezuma — a team that will bring a lot of speed against Central Plains’ defense.
“They will be running the football,” Steiner said. “They have a lot of speed in the backfield. They have a couple of big linemen, and a quarterback that runs the ball well.”
South Gray’s quarterback is Wyatt Slaven, but Rebels tailback Coulter Croft is an even bigger threat, according to Steiner.
“He is a real elusive tailback,” Steiner said. “He’s not that run-right-at-you type of running back. They like to get him outside. He’ll run between the tackles and spin. He’s very good at what he does. What gets teams in trouble is over pursuing him.”
Defensively, the Rebels have a trio of strong defensive linemen.
“They run a 3-2 just like us,” Steiner said. “They have three big defensive linemen. They control the line well. I talked with Pretty Prairie, and they said that the linemen really put it to them.”
South Gray beat Pretty Prairie 60-12 on Tuesday.
To beat the Rebels, Central Plains will need to get running back Benn Kirmer into open space.
Kirmer has rushed for 1,488 yards and 29 touchdowns this season.