LINDSBORG — Through 10 games, neither Smoky Valley or Pratt has lost a game.
Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A Playoffs, that will change for one team.
Luckily for Smoky Valley, the Vikings will be playing in front of a tremendous home crowd that has made the difference in past years. In fact, Smoky Valley is 16-1, including playoffs, at home since 2016.
However, it is fair to say Pratt will be amongst the toughest tests the Vikings have faced in that three year stretch.
“Pratt does a lot of things well,” Smoky Valley head coach Tim Lambert said. “Their offensive line is very good and they have great speed in the backfield with their quarterback who is a great player.”
The Vikings are led by a three-headed rushing attack in Timmy Lambert, Cort Elliott, and Lane Schrag. Both Lambert and Elliott recorded over 30 carries in last Friday’s 22-14 win over Hesston.
Coach Lambert says he will ride the hot hand when dividing carries between his rushers.
“We will just need to see what is working and how the game plays out for those two guys,” Lambert said.
The Smoky Valley defense has been nothing short of dominate. Not only has the defense bailed out the offense on a few occasions this season, but they’ve been consistently good.
The Vikings have recorded three shutouts and have held opponents to under 10 points six times. For the season, teams are averaging 8.3 points per game against Smoky Valley.
Something will have to give, as Pratt is averaging over 44 points a game and has topped the 50-point mark four times this season.
“Our defense has played very well this year,” Lambert said. “We will have to continue playing at that level and better if we will have a chance at winning the next three games.”
The winner of Friday’s game will face the winner of Andale (10-0) and Scott City (10-0) in the semifinals. Game time in Lindsborg is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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