Blue Devils look to bounce back against Southern Coffey

SEDAN — This wasn’t exactly the way the Sedan Blue Devils were hoping to start district play. Now they find themselves with their backs against the wall.

After opening the season with four straight wins, the Blue Devils dropped a 36-28 decision at Marmaton Valley in the Eight Man I-District 1 opener last week, putting a quick damper on their search for their first postseason bid in eight years. Although there are still four games left on the schedule, they face a must-win situation the remainder of the way, starting with Friday’s contest against Southern Coffey County at Prather Field.

“Our backs are against the wall at this point,” said SHS coach Mick Holt, whose squad is looking for its first playoff appearance since 2009. “We must take it one game at a time, and not overlook or look past anybody from here on out.”

In the contest at Marmaton Valley, Sedan trailed 22-14 at halftime but scored two quick touchdowns in the second half, including a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by Brady Williams, to eventually take a 28-22 advantage. Yet, the Wildcats regained the lead and then finished things off late as a hook-and-lateral went wrong for the Blue Devils, resulting in another Marmaton Valley touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

Prior to last week’s setback, the Blue Devils had been on a roll, winning 13 of their previous 14 games dating back to last season. In fact, the lone loss during that span came a year ago in a week-seven setback to West Elk. Sedan went on to finish in a three-way tie for the top spot in District 1 with St. Paul and West Elk but, despite an 8-1 overall record, missed out on the postseason due to the tiebreaker on points.

Now at 4-1 overall and 0-1 in district play, Sedan must get things going again against Southern Coffey County on Friday. The Titans head into the contest at 2-3 overall and 0-1 in District 1 following a 54-8 road loss at West Elk last week.

“Southern Coffey County has some big players,” Holt said. “They have a new coach and an entirely new look from last year. Last year, the ran a spread offense and passed a lot. This year, with their size, they run out of the single-wing formation. I think this week will be a grind it out, physical game. Obviously, we are going to have to play more focused and disciplined than we played last week.”

Last season, Sedan rolled to a 74-24 road victory over Southern Coffey County.