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Staying Tough: Trinity prepares for Des Lacs-Burlington

Dickinson Trinity quarterback Aric Knopik hands the ball off to freshman running back Nathaniel Jilek against Stanley on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Biesiot Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson Trinity football team may be coming off a comfortable 47-6 win over Stanley, but the next game will be more difficult.

In the Class A quarterfinals the Titans (7-1) will take on Des Lacs-Burlington (8-1) on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. at the Biesiot Activities Center.

"Every week the team you play is going to be better than the team before them," head coach John Odermann said. "We have to be prepared mentally, both on the offense and defense side of the ball. Des Lacs probably has a more balance attack than we've seen all year. They can sling it but they're also good on the ground so we have to make sure we play good, disciplined, assignment defense."

Last week the Trinity defense gave up their first touchdown since the first game of the season.

The best case scenario for the Titans would be earning their sixth shutout of the season, but the Lakers' pass game will challenge them in a new way.

"I have faith in our (defensive) backs," senior lineman Jacob Kubas said. "They throw the ball a lot more than other teams that we've played this year. From what I've seen at practice, I think our d-backs can handle almost anybody in the state's passing attack. I have faith in them and our defense as a whole."

The Lakers haven't allowed teams to score very often either this year. They've outscored their opponents 283-41 this season.

"They do run a lot of offensive sets that we've ran in the past several years so our kids are familiar looking at these kind of sets," Odermann said. "The thing that I really like about this, as I said every team is going to be better. It's a little easier to get the kids to buy in on the seriousness of the game."

After scouting the Lakers, the Titans replicated their plays and schemes to the best of their ability all week. They've been preparing for a challenge but senior wide receiver Noah Sickler doesn't seem worried.

"If you ask me, we have the better team," Sickler said. "Up front I have more faith in our guys. We're more physical."

Sickler, also a defensive back, led the Titans with 38 receiving yards over three catches last week.

The Titans will have the home-field advantage, just as they did last Saturday, .

"We love playing at home in the playoffs," Odermann said. "It's nice to be able to sleep in our own bed Friday night and get up, have breakfast, have mass as a team and get ready for the game."

Odermann said the Titans have the greatest sense of urgency they've felt all year, especially the seniors.

"We know what they're going to do. We know what we want to do," Kubas said. "It's just a matter of executing on offense and defense to the best of our ability. If we do that I think we'll come out with a win."