By RICK SOLEM
They’re two teams that couldn’t appear more opposite of one-another.
Opposite offenses. Opposite seeds. Opposite sides of the state.
It’s that middle difference, however, that really doesn’t sit well with Holmen High School football coach Steve King.
His team is 8-1. Its only loss came 3-0 to undefeated Logan. Yet, Saturday, at the WIAA Division 2 seeding meeting, Holmen’s strength of schedule must not have measured up. The Vikings were ‘rewarded’ with a No. 7 seed and will travel to unbeaten Superior for a 7 p.m. game tonight.
“I wasn’t really happy on Saturday,” King said. “I was with my wife, she rode with me to Wausau, where we had the seeding meeting. I came out and got in the car and she said, ‘How’d it go?’
“And, I can’t tell you what I told her, because it’s not printable.”
Now, that seed is just motivation.
King took the seeding like this toward his team, “Hey, you’re not respected at all. They think our 8-1 is like a 4-5 in their league, which is a crock of crap.
“We’re looking at it as an opportunity to go to Superior and show people we can play good football.”
When it comes to offenses, it’s simple: Holmen runs it, Superior throws.
The Vikings triple-option attack has amassed 2,441 yards and 34 touchdowns rushing. Quarterback Camryn Zimmerman has 863 yards (8.9 ypc.), 14 touchdowns rushing, while teammate Mitch Dienger has 752 (5.6) and 11 TDs.
Superior, on the other hand, is led by 6-foot-3 quarterback Nick Mehlum. He’s gone 139 of 216 for 2,540 yards with 30 TDs and 4 interceptions.
“They’re quarterback is the real deal,” King said. “He’s one of the best I’ve seen. That’s going to be a huge challenge. Our defense will have its hands full.”
On the receiving end, Superior has two main targets. Jake Libal, 6-foot, has 49 catches for 994 yards (20.3 ypc.), 11 TDs, while 5-9 teammate Beau Girard has 32 grabs for 614 yards and 9 scores.
When it comes to preparation, King said he’d rather get ready for a team like Superior, than be in his opponent’s cleats.
“I don’t like preparing for the teams that run triple-option. It’s a nightmare,” he said. “(Superior) runs a lot of gun-read stuff with their quarterback. They’re more of a technique, finesse, throw the ball around and let their athletes catch the ball in space and do some nice things.”
Superior is averaging 40.6 points a game and giving up 23.1 a game (not counting its season opener – see breakout, click it for story).
“If you look at some of their scores, it’s been high-scoring affairs, where they’ve just outscored teams,” said King, whose team averages 35.7 points – which includes the shutout against Logan – and gives up 8.4 points. “We’re hoping to slow them down just a little bit and put some points on the board ourselves.”