by Eric Oslund
It’s not too often that the Spectrum Sting have looked to be challenged this season, winning their first five games of the season by an average of 37.6 points.
They were sitting at 5-0 as they made the trip out to play St. Agnes on Friday, Oct. 6, and, at first, it seemed as though their opponents had found an answer for slowing them down. The Sting led 16-0 at the half, which was the second closest margin they have had all season.
“St. Agnes has always been a really disciplined team and they’re probably the most disciplined team we’ve played so far,” Spectrum head coach Seth Mills said. “The kids play hard, they’re sound fundamentally, so they obviously gave us some different problems early on. We were still able to move the ball on them, but had to fight more.”
But a lead is still a lead, so when the Sting retook the field in the second half, they decided to stick to what they do best, running the ball. Slowly but surely, St. Agnes began to wear down, and the Sting only seemed to get stronger – specifically junior running back Fisher Marberg.
He would go on to finish the game with 21 carries for 319 yards and four touchdowns, breaking his previous single-game rushing record of 314 yards he set the previous season.
“I think the physicality came into play again. The repeated hammering, I guess, we just kept pounding the rock,” Mills said of his team’s second half. “It’s hard for a team to hold up under that for four quarters, so that’s what we want to do.”
There is more to football than just running the ball, though. The Sting defense stayed strong all night long, never bending, nor breaking, against St. Agnes. They kept their opponents off the scoreboard throughout the game, with the only touchdown allowed coming off a Sting fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
The team’s offense tends to get a lot of attention, which makes sense when they have scored over 40 points in each of their games, and even broke 60 points once already. But, on the other side, the defense has held their opponents to under 20 points in every game but their first, and that may be just as big a reason for the success they have had.
“They’re kind of our unsung heroes right now,” Mills said of his defenders.
“(Defensive coordinator) Kassidy Cook got them schemed up well. He had a great game plan. The guys executed, they believed in it, and went out and played our brand of ball. Defense played really well.”
The Sting would go on to defeat St. Agnes 46-7 and improve to 6-0 on the season. No team in the program’s history has ever had that kind of start to the season, but they’re not looking to be complacent with it.
They still have goals in mind that they wish to reach, and still know there are plenty of things to work on in order to obtain them.
“(State)’s always the long-term goal,” Mills said. “Honestly, there are a lot of things to correct from this week and every week there will be more, so we’ll keep working on that.”