East puts perfect first-round playoff record on the line vs. Mason

East puts perfect first-round playoff record on the line vs. Mason

LIBERTY TWP. — The Lakota East High School football team will face a familiar foe in the first round of the playoffs, but that won’t make it any easier, coach Rick Haynes said.East (7-3), which is 2-0 in first-round playoff games, travels to Greater Miami Conference rival Mason (8-2) for a Division I, Region 4 quarterfinal Friday, and the Comets proved better than expected this season despite a lot of new faces. WEEK 11 FOOTBALL COVERAGE » Stakes higher for Edgewood, Little Miami in rematch « Senior Starks savoring every healthy moment for Badin Recommended for you Recommended for you Recommended for you » Hamilton forces Murphy out after six seasons, 14-46 record The teams did not meet during the regular season but played a scrimmage that ended after three quarters with the Thunderhawks ahead.“It helps that you’re playing someone you are familiar with and someone you scrimmaged in terms of nerves and preparation, but that doesn’t make it any easier, ” Haynes said. “They’ve done a great job this year. (Mason coach) Brian (Castner) and their guys, I don’t think they thought they would be 8-2 ....

They have a couple good skill guys, their running backs, the receiver (Nick) Niehoff, the (Alec) Dardis kid is a dynamic player, and defensively, they are sound. We have to play hard.” Mason is led by quarterback Collin Brown, who has thrown for 793 yards and five touchdowns with four interceptions, and running backs Logan Dalton (1, 033 yards rushing) and Nolan McCormick (668 yards rushing), who both have six touchdowns. Niehoff has 345 yards receiving and three TDs, and Dardis adds 238 yards and one touchdown on a team-leading 20 catches.Castner has been pleasantly surprised with his offense’s improvement throughout the season, but East will be a good test to see how far the Comets have come in that respect.“We didn’t score on them in the scrimmage, ” Castner said. “We played three quarters and called it a game and didn’t get in the end zone, so we know they are very good defensively. We have to get after them from the get-go and hopefully find a crack.”Michael Howard leads East’s defense with 77 tackles, two interceptions and a sack.Haynes said he doesn’t put much stock in how that scrimmage went because teams don’t prepare for those like they ....

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