Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 10/30

Jim Bradford

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: October 30, 2013 - 9:02 AM



The real season has begun. Those first six weeks were just glorified warmups, right?
 
That’s what you’ll hear from every coach out there. Every player, too.
 
It’s the last three games in Kansas that really count.
 
So, it’s tough to sit back and watch a team self-destruct. After all, they’ve had six weeks worth of warm-up games.
 
It’s tough to watch a team keep getting hit with penalty after penalty and seeing other teams march down the field courtesy of free yardage.
 
Just ask Olathe North. They gave up 143 yards of offense in a 33-7 throttling of Olathe Northwest, but handed the Ravens 130 free yards thanks to penalties.
 
But.
 
Is it really a matter of self destruction?
 
Sometimes maybe, but for some teams it’s just a product of hard play.The first reaction is frustration.
 
“We can’t have all of those penalties,” Olathe North head coach Gene Wier said. “If we are going to be a good football team, we have to get rid of them. That’s all there is to it.”
 
But upon further review, it’s a bit more. It’s aggression and when it comes time for the district playoffs, if you are lacking it, you probably aren’t going to get past week 9.
 
“It’s a difficult balance,” Blue Valley Northwest head coach Zegunis said. “Most of the time they are out there trying to make plays, being aggressive. You just have to be careful.”
 
As a coach, can you really be that upset with a couple of roughing the passer penalties when the defender is trying to make an aggressive play? Well, you could be upset, but it would be misguided rage, really.
 
There is a fine line and sometimes a personal foul penalty is the price you pay for dancing a bit too close to the fire.
 
It’s the holding calls, the offsides penalties, the false starts, the delay of game penalties that draw the ire of the coaching staff. And rightly so.
 
Then there are the turnovers, the fumbles.These all get placed in one category — mistakes. They have no pace in week six, seven and eight.
 
Just ask Blue Valley Northwest. They were making way too many in the first three weeks of the season and had a 1-2 mark to show for it.  Now, they have figured some things out and are 6-2 and riding high.
Now, it’s just a matter of maintenance.
 
“We need to continue to cut down on our mistakes,” BV Northwest quarterback Jake Rominger said. “We just need to maintain this style of football that we are playing. We need to stop making the mistakes that hurt us.”
 
That’s a similar refrain across the metro as district play finishes this week.