MICHIGAN CITY — Committed to staying with sophomore Gio Laurent at quarterback going forward, Michigan City coach Phil Mason is now looking to figure out a way to get former signal caller Michael Bradford more involved in the backfield that is led by Jonathon 'Buster' Flemings with Lovell Sanders, Jr., providing the backup.
"I think that's the way to go," Mason said after Friday's 21-7 win over Chesterton. "It's nice to have a three-headed monster, but Michael Bradford's got to contribute more. We've got to figure out where that's going to be."
The Hurt locker: Marquan Hurt had three touchdowns in a game, playing running back in his younger days, but his three interceptions in Friday's game were a first.
"We've got to keep it going though," Hurt said. "Keep executing, keep working hard, keep being aggressive."
Defensive coordinator Roy Richards talked in detail about how the 'Wolf' position in City's defense fits Hurt's skill set so well.
"We have the luxury of having guy a like that that can roam the middle of the field and part of that is, we have so many good players, he doesn’t have responsibility," Richards said. "He gets to roam free and freelance and he’s about as good as it is when you let him do that. We can’t have "Wolf" if your safeties, corners and linebackers, aren’t man (to man) across the board. Having said that, how many guys can roam field like that and ignite the stadium like he does? Obviously, we’re blessed. It's a whole lot of fun coaching these guys."
Mason and Richards both grin when they talk about Hurt's colorful personality.
"That's who he is. That's Marquan," Mason said. "He's going to let you know it."
"Interesting," Richards adds. "Let's put it that way. He's about as electric as it gets. He's bubbly, he's all over the place. Sometimes, it's awesome, sometimes you pull your hair out, but that’s high school coaching."
It's all a matter of playing to your players' strengths.
"You can coach lesser kids, athletes and be structured and basic, but we're not," Richards said. "If you put him at a job, sometimes that role gets boring and you lose effectiveness. I keep asking him, 'Am I wasting you?" (He says), "Yeah coach, you are." OK, let's just freelance you. We're on detail and we get to turn guys like him loose, and you see what happens when he’s loose. Sometimes, we're wrong but most of the time he’s right. I’ll take those odds anytime."
It's Valpo week: Week 4 has been circled on the calendar a long time by Michigan City and in all likelihood Valparaiso as the biggest game of the regular season, and now that it's here, Mason is trying to keep a rein on the buildup.
"We know what we're headed for, but every week right now is more about us than our opponent," he said.
Nate Ware wasn't looking too far ahead.
"I'm excited about Monday," Ware said. "That will tell us how the whole week's going to be. If we practice good Monday, it'll be a good week."
Double duty: New Prairie's lethal running duo of Chase Ketterer and Chris Mays combined for 330 yards and five touchdowns on the ground against Andrean on Friday. On defense, Ketterer came in clutch with a few key stops, totaling 11 tackles, two of them for loss of yards. "Tonight was a test," Cougars coach Russ Radtke said. "The result going in is that one team is going to win and the other is going to learn a heck of a lot. If we didn't play Andrean, we wouldn't have gotten any better, had we played other opponents that wouldn't have been as challenging."