GRAND ISLAND – While the Islanders’ comeback win over Omaha North was exhilarating to say the least, Grand Island isn’t looking to put itself in the same position this Friday.
The Islanders scored 38 unanswered points to knock off the defending champs in the first round of the playoffs last Friday, but there’s been little time to appreciate the heroics of rallying from 24 points down as a clash with No. 2 seed Millard South (9-1) awaits.
“We were really proud of our kids’ effort and their resiliency,” Grand Island Head Coach Jeff Tomlin shared. “You really got just a couple hours to enjoy it and then it’s on to the next bunch of film that you have to break down. After Friday night and early Saturday morning, grading the film, it’s on to the next mission.”
That mission is to go on the road and defeat a one-loss Millard South team. The Patriots are riding a six-game winning streak after taking down Pius X 34-14 in the first round.
“They’re an option team much like we are,” Tomlin added. “You have to be sound in your assignments. That’s the biggest challenge when preparing for a team like this…”
The Islanders’ last deep playoff run came in 2014 when Grand Island made it to the semifinals before being knocked out in the first round each of the last three years. While this is the first time practicing in November for the majority of his players, Tomlin says it’s business as usual.
“It’s an ordinary week for us…ordinary routine as far as how we prepare. They’ve been here before…A lot of their brother played in ’13 and ’14 when we were in the semifinals so it’s not really that big of a deal. They’re ready to go and they’re eager and looking forward to it.”
If the Islanders are to make it to back to the semifinals Tomlin knows his team can’t spot the Patriots points early.
“We have to come out and play fast. That’s what Millard South does really well. They’re a team with speed, and a good tempo, and they play fast. We’re going to have to play with a high tempo of our own, both offensively and defensively and do a great job on special teams, and I’m confident that we will. It should be a great game.”
News Channel Nebraska will broadcast and stream the game live with coverage starting at 6:40 PM. The game will be on Spectrum cable channels 99 and 715 in Grand Island and on Cox cable channel 1116 in Omaha.