Butch Pedersen assembled his West Branch football team, congratulated them on their victory … then bashed the media??
“Football games aren’t won in the newspapers,” he said, casting an eye toward the TV cameramen and newspaper reporters on the outside of the huddle, certainly audible enough to be heard.
Belle Plaine entered the game 4-0, had earned a spot in the 1A top 10 in the AP poll, and had received a wealth of attention heading into the big game.
“In the media this week, you didn’t hear much about West Branch,” Pedersen said after he departed the huddle. “Belle Plaine deserved all the accolades (it) received, but all those accolades kind of put a burr under our saddle. We showed we can still play football in West Branch.”
Somehow, I doubt anyone had said differently. I picked the Plainsmen in this space yesterday, but unless Pedersen read this blog shortly before gametime (which I highly doubt), that wasn’t the reason for the burr.
At any rate, West Branch dominated the second half on its way to a 35-19 win. Take into account these four statistical disparities:
Offensive yards: 223-4.
First downs: 15-0.
Plays from scrimmage: 41-9.
Time of possession: 19:23-4:37.
Take away two West Branch turnovers, and the score could have been something like 42-6. The Bears were superior.
They still play football in West Branch. It didn’t take a “we-get-no-respect-from-the-media” declaration to prove that. Or a burr under the saddle.