ISHPEMING – If they are lucky, the Ishpeming Hematites won’t have to play another football game outside for the remainder of the postseason. But, that doesn’t mean the competition gets any easier.
Ishpeming has been practicing inside for most of the week due to the snow that blanketed the Central U.P. The Hematites take on Traverse City Saint Francis Friday night at the Superior Dome.
Hematites head coach Jeff Olson said that although being inside makes practicing a bit tougher, he’s confident that his team is good to go against the Gladiators.
“We’re way into the season and we just want to sharpen things up,” said Olson. “I think we’ll be fine- we’ll be ready. It’s going to be who makes the last mistake that’s not going to come out on top.”
“They try to power it at you and get the ground game going, just like us,” added Olson about the Gladiators. “Defensively they’re going to attack. They like to blitz, come hard and at full speed.”
“They’re a big, physical team and their defensive line is pretty good,” said Hematites wide receiver Luke Kuliu. “They have a couple of backs that are pretty good too. We have to work hard and keep our heads up.”
“They lost in triple overtime against New Lothrop- we can’t take them to granted,” said Ishpeming defensive back Nick Comment. “They’re big. They have big backs that are athletic, we just have to do everything that is right.”
Kickoff from the Superior Dome is set for 8 p.m.