After two weeks of play, the Hutchinson Tigers football team is a perfect 2-0. They’ve remained undefeated despite close games against St. Cloud Tech and Becker, the later of which was rated No. 7 in the Sept. 4 Class 4A rankings.
“Tech is one of the better teams in 5A, and Becker is one of the better teams in 4A, so we feel pretty good about being 2-0,” coach Andy Rostberg said. “We’ve got a lot of things to clean up and improve upon, but we’re happy with our record thus far.”
Both games went down to the final possessions as Hutchinson successfully fended off onside kick attempts.
In Becker on Friday, 2-point conversions helped greatly as the Tigers (2-0, 1-0 North Central White) defeated the Bulldogs 16-13. Russell Corrigan ran for two touchdowns, one in the second quarter and one in the fourth, and completed passes to convert both PAT attempts.
The biggest factor in both wins this season, however, has been stout defense. While the Tigers haven’t racked up tons of points and yards on offense yet, they’ve held two solid teams in check. Becker scored 22 points in its season opener against Monticello, while Tech racked up 40 points last week after being held to 21 by Hutchinson.
What’s even more impressive is Hutch’s defense has done this well despite no turnovers yet this season.
“Our secondary has played well, and, for the most part, we’ve tackled fairly well,” Rostberg said. “Not great at times, but I thought our tackling has been a little above average.”
The Tigers have done a good job beating their opponents on the ground. Hutch rushed for 250 yards against Tech and allowed just 164. Against Becker, Hutch rushed for 186 yards and held the Bulldogs to 86.
Both of these rivals preferred to attack the Tigers through the air instead. Tech had 237 yards of receiving while Becker had 235. Rostberg said that is most likely due to those teams’ style of play, and he said to expect similar play when Hutchinson hosts the Rocori Spartans at 7 p.m. Friday.
“They aren’t afraid to throw it 25 to 30 times a game, and along with that they have a good running game,” Rostberg said.
Rocori is also undefeated this season after a 1-7 record last year. The Spartans have beaten Fergus Falls 23-0 and Big Lake 30-12 so far this year, and Rostberg expects they’ll be excited to bring that momentum to Hutchinson Friday.
In order to knock the Spartans off their stride, Hutchinson will have to continue playing solid defense and try to fire up its offense a little earlier than last week.
“They’ve got a three-year starter at quarterback and they’ve got good running backs and receivers, and they always play really good defense,” Rostberg said. “So it’s going to be a matter of us … trying get some turnovers on them and for us to not turn it over. When they stack up in there, (we have to) be able to throw the ball, protect and complete some passes on them.”
Hutchinson 16, Becker 13 (Sept. 6)
Hutch ... 0 8 0 8 — 16
Beck ..... 0 6 0 7 — 13
H—Russell Corrigan 2-yard run (Corrigan pass to Hayden Jensen good) 11:16
B—Josh Fobbe 1-yard run (Zach Wenner pass to Fobbe fail) :01
H—Corrigan 10-yard run (Corrigan pass to Ethan Beffert good) 9:56
B—Fobbe 8-yard pass to Cade Callahan (Emma Domke kick good) 2:41
Rushing — Hutch: 39-186; Becker: 25-86
Passing yards — Hutch: 5/6-96; Becker: 21/45-235
Total offense — Hutch: 282; Becker: 280
Passing: Corrigan 5-6-96-0-0
Rushing: Jensen 5-34, Tyler Schiller 17-77, Mitchell Piehl 1-5, Ty Glaser 2-9, Corrigan 14-61
Receiving: Jensen 1-(-1), Colin Nagel 1-10, Beffert 2-61, Schiller 1-26
Tackles: Tristan Hoppe 7, Mitchell Piehl 6, Billy Marquardt 5, Jensen 5, Sam Rensch 4, Alex Nelson 4, Beffert 3, Aaron Elliott 3, Cody Kurth 3, Jordan Titus 3, Schiller 2, Zeke Cosby 2, Dawson McCarthy 2, Ciaran McGraw 1, Jake Schumann 1
Sacks: Nelson 1