The UMHB Crusaders host St. John Fisher of New York at noon on Saturday in a NCAA Division III Quarterfinal contest. The Crusaders are 12-0. St. John Fisher is 10-2. Crusaders head coach Pete Fredenburg talked with Herald sports editor Allan Mandell after Thursday’s practice.
What can you tell us about the St. John Fisher Cardinals?
They are a very well coached football team. They have a lot of good football players. They have an excellent quarterback, a good running back and great size. They also are very good on defense.
What defense do they employ?
They run what they call a 3-5-3. They’ll use three down linemen and those five in the middle are each capable of stunting quite a bit. They run people through gaps. They basically try and minimize making any bad plays on defense but every once in a while they’ll make a huge play.
Is it safe to assume that some screen passes can keep such a defense on its toes?
Yes, absolutely. Those type of passes can work and be effective if we execute well ourselves.
Who is ultimately responsible for making the calls at the line and trying to guess where St. John will be trying to blitz?
We will be depending on a combination of three people to help us make the necessary adjustments at the line: our center Sterling Cantue, our quarterback (Zach Anderson) and our offensive coordinator (Jeff Shinn).
How does St. John Fisher like to attack on offense?
They are very similar in style to us. They spread the field because they have good skill receivers. They will pose a big challenge for us because they’re so versatile on offense.
How have your practices been this week?
Excellent. They’ve been excellent.
Coach, the conditions on Saturday are supposed to be wet and cold. Do you talk about that type of thing with your players?
Yes. Actually, we talk about this type of weather all the time with them. The reason we talk about it so much is because this is exactly what we want: to be playing football in December, when the weather is bad. That’s part of the deal of advancing.
As a team, this is what we want — to be playing in cold, December weather. It was cold when we played Redlands (Nov. 23) and we did fine (35-7 win). The conditions are equally tough for both teams. We’ll be fine.
Contact Allan Mandell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7566