The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Sports

December 5, 2012

BEARKAT FOOTBALL — Road-tested Bearkats set for another game far from home

Kats not fazed about ‘business trip’ to Montana, insist they’re road-tested and ready to beat third-seeded Bobcats

HUNTSVILLE — The Bearkats have been through the drill so many times this season, they know the routine like the back of their hand.

Just like in eight of the 12 games they’ve played this season, including the playoffs, Sam Houston listened to the itinerary for the upcoming road trip from head coach Willie Fritz and begin making plans.

Once again, the Kats will load up the buses with equipment and gear this morning and begin making their way toward their destination. The only difference is that this next contest holds the most weight for Sam Houston. A spot in the FCS semifinals will be on the line Friday night as the Kats travel to Bozeman, Mont., for a national quarterfinals contest against No. 3 seed Montana State.

“We’re just happy to be playing again. We’re excited to go up there,” Bearkats senior offensive lineman Riley Smith said. “We’ve been on the road all year, nothing else is new. We’ll handle it just as good as we’ve handled all of the other road games. We’re anxious to play on Friday.”

For the ninth time this season, the Bearkats (9-3) overall) have to go on the road, trying to come out on top. In seven of the previous road games — the exception being a neutral-site contest against Stephen F. Austin at Reliant Stadium in Houston for the Battle of the Piney Woods — Sam Houston has had to go into enemy territory.

Along with the pressure that comes with win-or-go-home games in the playoffs, the Bearkats will have to board a plane and fly a little more than three hours to Big Sky country, which distinguishes this road trip from others this season.

“It’s going to be a little different, but we’re used to traveling,” Kats senior linebacker Darius Taylor said. “We’ve got an older team this year. I think that’s going to play a big role. We’ve got a bunch of seniors, a bunch of juniors. We’re old enough and mature enough to get on a plane and make it a business trip.”

“Us leaving at 10:30 (in the morning) and getting up there at 3 (p.m.), it’s actually going to be shorter than a couple of (earlier road trips). We’re used to it,” Fritz added.

Though the Bearkats will be among hostile territory in front of what’s expected to be a packed crowd at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman for FCS playoff football in primetime, Fritz will lean on his experienced squad to keep all his players’ mind-sets just where they need to be.

“I don’t make a big deal out of this kind of stuff,” Fritz said. “We’re playing football. One of the big things I try to get our guys to understand is we need to lock in once we get inside those white lines and not worry about home crowd, away crowd, whatever the case may be and focus on the task at hand and our guys have done a good job of that this season.”

“I think our guys know what’s at stake, what we’re playing for. There’s a time to be serious and a time to relax when you’re on the road. Our guys have been pretty darn mature this season in that regard.”

Last year, Sam Houston and Montana State also met in the quarterfinals round, but the game was played in Huntsville at Bowers Stadium. The contest was close until the early stages of the third quarter when Kats senior Brandon Closner returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown to push Sam Houston ahead by two scores. That allowed the Bearkats to coast to an easy 49-13 victory to advance to the semifinals.

The Kats know that the Bobcats are looking to return the favor.

“I bet those guys will have a chip on their shoulder after what we did to them last year,” Smith said. “There’s only eight teams left and we’re one of eight. Only good teams are left, obviously. They’re a great team and so are we. We’ll see who’s the better of the two on Friday.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 4-24-rickeyshia.jpg HUNTSVILLE TRACK AND FIELD — Now's the time to shine at regional meet

    Only one more meet and strong competition is keeping the Lady Hornets and a pair of Hornets from advancing to the UIL Track and Field State Meet.
    In order to advance to Austin, the Huntsville boys and girls will have to turn in another strong showing on Friday and Saturday at the Class 4A Region III meet, which will be held at the York Track and Field Complex at Sam Houston State University.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • HORNETS FOOTBALL — Hornets football coaching staff coming together

    As the Hornets and their new head coach, Rodney Southern, continue to get more acquainted, there will also be a handful of new faces that the Huntsville boys will learn to get accustomed to.
    Though there are plenty of coaches still employed at other school districts, Southern is slowly but steadily putting his coaching staff together.

    April 24, 2014

  • HUNTSVILLE BASEBALL — Hornets upset Brenham in final road game

    All of a sudden, the Huntsville baseball team is on a roll. The Hornets figure it’s better late than never.
    Since getting off to a rough 1-10 start in district play this season, Huntsville has rattled off three wins in its last four games and two in a row after Tuesday night’s 7-4 road victory against district leader Brenham.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-shsu-golfer-Zach-Cabra.jpg SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE GOLF — Bearkats lead by 10 shots going into final round of men's championships

    Led by junior Zach Cabra and senior Albert Miner, Sam Houston State held off a charge by Stephen F. Austin to take a 10-stroke lead into today’s final 18 holes at the 2014 Southland Conference Men’s Golf Championship.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-schultz.jpg NEW WAVERLY SOFTBALL — Lady Dogs ready for playoff game against Blooming Grove on Thursday

    With the Lady Bulldogs in the playoffs for the fourth straight season, this year’s team has high expectations going into the post-season.The latest pursuit begins Thursday for the Lady Dogs, facing Blooming Grove of District 23-2A at Madisonville High School in the opening round. Thursday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Game 2 is slated for Friday at 6 p.m. If necessary, the Lady Dogs and Lady Lions will play a third and deciding game following Friday’s tilt.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SHSU BASEBALL — Bearkats take down No. 12 Houston

    The Bearkats manufactured a run in the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie and beat No. 12 Houston 5-4 on Tuesday at Cougar Field. Designated hitter Hayden Simerly scored the first and final runs of the game, the last on a sacrifice fly after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-22-coach-oliphant-2011-playoffs.jpg Huntsville hires Jay Oliphant as new boys basketball coach

    Huntsville hired a new head coach for the boys basketball team and didn’t have to search very far to find him.
    Jay Oliphant is well-known around these parts. After spending the last five seasons as the girls basketball coach, Oliphant will take over a boys program that missed the playoffs in 2013-14 for the first time in the last six seasons.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22-chaz.jpg NEW WAVERLY BASEBALL — Bulldogs jump on Onalaska early, cruises to 10-1 victory in finale

    The Bulldogs are back.
    After a year away from the Class 2A baseball playoff picture, New Waverly’s team has returned to form and perhaps even better than before.
    The Bulldogs finished the regular season strong with a dominant 10-1 victory over Onalaska on Monday night.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • HUNTSVILLE BOYS BASKETBALL — Jay Oliphant to be named new Hornets head coach

    Former Huntsville basketball standout Jay Oliphant is the new head coach for the boys team, The Item learned Monday morning.

    April 21, 2014

  • 4-20-Cally-Belcher-2.jpg Cally Belcher's death was a tragedy ahead of its time

    As a defensive back for the Huntsville Hornets from 1987-89, Cally Belcher was an intimidating tackler during a time in football when hitting was one of the more glamorous elements of the sport.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Photos


House Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide