By Jay Young
Randolph football has already had a season for the ages, but the year isn't over just yet.
Randolph’s Bryce Morrison and the rest of the Cardinals take a 20-game winning streak into Friday’s Far West Regional.
P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson
The Cardinals will put their unblemished 10-0 record on the line Friday against Section 5 champion Red Jacket (9-1) in the Class D Far West Regional at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.
Coming into the matchup, Randolph remains the state's top-ranked team, and sports a 20-game winning streak that stretches back to September 2012.
The Indians stand four places back in the state rankings, and are riding a hot streak of their own under coach Mark Vitticore that includes a dominant 44-14 victory over Clyde-Savannah in the Section 5 title game.
"With a game like this, everything becomes more serious," Randolph coach Brent Brown said. "The way the kids are in practice, their whole attitude changes when you get to this level, so we get a lot done in preparation."
Despite having never faced each other, the Cardinals and the Indians share similar styles of play that should make for an intriguing neutral-field meeting. Both teams are led primarily by rush-based attacks and stout offensive line play.
See REGIONAL, Page B3
From Page B1
Senior halfback Chris Doubek has put together a momentous year, logging 1,936 yards on 167 carries and 29 touchdowns. Against Maple Grove-Chautauqua Lake in the sectional title game, Doubek rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Red Jacket has been riding the equally dominant play of running back Kory Fogarty. The junior has totaled 1,896 yards on 211 and 23 touchdowns.
"They are going to have to stop what we do best, and we are going to have to try and do the same thing," Brown said. "What we learned from our last game is that mistakes are always going to happen, no matter what you do. It's your response that matters for the rest of the game."
Schematically, the Cardinals could give the Red Jacket defense some issues adjusting to new formations.
"Most of the running that they face is more spread out in the pistol, and that's not the way our ground game is set up," Brown said. "We have to utilize our offensive line as best we can, but they have some big defensive tackles and a linebacker who has been playing great."
That linebacker is junior captain Andrew Ogrodowski, who will look to shake up the Randolph run game with pressure from the inside. Standing an ideal 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he leads Red Jacket in tackles with 96, including six for a loss, and has an interception.
Ogrodowski will have to deal with a Randolph offensive line that is not only physically impressive, but playing better and better every game.
"This is when the fun really begins," Brown said. "You get to play a completely new team that is a different challenge."