Kelly Walsh

Kelly Walsh at Thunder Basin

BACK TO WORK: Kelly Walsh has moved on from last week’s Oil Bowl loss. The Trojans went over film on Saturday and got back to practice on Monday by going back to basics. Those fundamental blocks were reinforced going into the final two weeks of the season. “Just concentrating on correcting things we need to correct,” head coach Jon Vance said. “Then concentrating on what Thunder Basin is going to do and be crisp on our assignments.”

STILL DANGEROUS: With the return of Super 25 selection Austin Clemetson in the backfield, Thunder Basin is as dangerous now as they ever were. The Bolts offense has been dynamic all year, breaking big plays against unsuspecting defenses and adding Clemetson hasn’t changed that. The Trojan defense has a tall order. “They still do the spread attack,” Vance said. “(We have to) Make sure we’re taking great angles and trusting your reads and your jobs of where you fit into the grand scheme of things.”

A LITTLE DIFFERENT: Thunder Basin has allowed points and yards this season. The Bolts have struggled to stop teams with their 5-man front, which includes big and talented defensive tackles. The linebackers are also more active than most 4A teams. “They do blitz a lot more than that staff did at Campbell County,” Vance said. “They’re going to do blitzes so we have to have our eyes up and not get buried by one person. That will be huge.”

HOMESTRETCH: While the Trojans are taking this game as another one on the schedule, there is an added sense of urgency. Turnovers could be key as the Bolts have turned the ball over more than any other 4A team and Kelly Walsh still has the best turnover ratio in 4A. It’s a big game that could very well determine home-field in the quarterfinals. “We talked about on Saturday where we were sitting and what’s at stake so they know what’s on the line,” Vance said. “It is another game, another guy on the schedule, shouldn’t be any extra pressure, but they need to know they have to concentrate.”

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Star-Tribune reporter Brady Oltmans covers high school and college sports.

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