For a team starting the season 0-3 on the road, a comeback win over the defending conference champions was just what the Alleman Pioneers needed.
“Just coming off those three weeks was just really hard,” said senior kicker Sean O’Hern. “And now we’re kind of just like ready to compete for the rest of the season.”
“I think scoring early helped,” said Alleman head coach Todd Depoorter. “That always gives you some momentum and we’ve been talking about that, to get off to a good start. But I think the kids have been growing in their confidence, and obviously in a game like that last week that was hard fought, and finish at the end I think that’s going to boost us for the rest of the season.”
The 31-28 victory handed the Maroons their first Western Big Six loss under head coach Mike Morrissey. And more importantly put the Pioneers right back in the conference race.
“At this point of the season, halfway, we’ve been through a lot,” said senior running back Nate Sheets, who scored the game-winning touchdown against the Maroons. “A lot more than other teams have been. So I mean I think we have more experience than other people, so I think if we just use that to our advantage we should be even better.”
“That win was really big for us and it kind of just showed us we can compete with pretty much anyone in the conference now.,” added O’Hern.
The team says assignment discipline has been key to their growth this season. It’s something they’re continuing to focus on ahead of this week’s match-up with Geneseo.
“You know a great coach once said see a little, see a lot,” said Depoorter. “So we focus on what their job is to do, and they need to focus on that and that’s our first step. The wins and losses will take care of themselves.”
O’Hern agrees the team has bought in to the approach. “You know I think as we progress through the season we’ve started to trust each other more…I think we can come out with a win and I think it’s just going to be about winning our individual battles in that game.”
Alleman will travel to Geneseo to take on the Maple Leafs Friday, September 27.