• Indians ready for Ozark's single-wing attack

  • Ryan Schartz and his assistant coaches have put in some overtime this week.

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  • Ryan Schartz and his assistant coaches have put in some overtime this week.
    They have been preparing for Ozark High School's complex single-wing offense as Fort Osage plays host to the Tigers at 7 p.m. this evening in Class 5 state semifinal action.
    The winner will play for the state championship next Friday at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
    “My staff is something else,” Schartz said earlier this week. “I've been on staffs where guys are watching the clock and getting out of there as soon as they can. With this staff, it's just the opposite. I have to tell them to go home and be with their families.”
    However, the 11-1 Indian staff hasn't had much family time as defensive coordinator Jon Oyler, whose Indians have recorded seven shutouts this season, has never schemed against a single-wing offense.
    “We'll be ready Friday night,” Oyler said when asked about the 11-1 Tigers’ deceptive offense. “We've got plenty of film and the guys are spending as much time watching it as the coaches.”
    Fort Osage quarterback Steven McBee said practices this week have been intense, and productive.
    “The scout team has been huge,” said McBee, who hooked up with his brother Jesse for a 43-yard touchdown pass and then scored on a 1-yard run to lead the Indians to a 20-3 state quarterfinal win over defending state champion Staley last Saturday.
    The Indians have now defeated the Class 5 state champion and in the second game of the season blanked defending Class 6 state champion Blue Springs South 6-0.
    “The guys on the scout team are running that single-wing offense and are doing a great job,” the senior quarterback added. “Our defense is going to be so ready Friday night. The coaches will make sure we're ready.”
    Schartz said he's not surprised the Tigers upset Lee's Summit West 26-23 last week on the Titans’ home field.
    “This Ozark team is the real deal,” Schartz said. “I know our guys thought we were going to be playing Lee's Summit West because they've been the top-rated team in the state all year.
    “But that's why you play the game. It isn't played on paper or in the state rankings. The Ozark coach (Mark Bliss) is considered one of the top single-wing coaches in the country. He travels to clinics and coaching seminars and has videos and books about the single wing. They do it and they do it right. And they're a physical team.
    “Their defense reminds me a lot of Winnetonka (a team the Indians beat 40-17 in the district title game). They have the great athletes who just fly around to the football, and we've never played against a single wing, but the guys are seeing a lot of it in practice this week.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Safety Joseph Tuimaseve isn't intimidated by what the Tigers will bring to Fort Osage Friday night.
    “We have the best coaches in the state, and we will be ready,” Tuimaseve said. “We respect Ozark, you have to respect any team that beats West. But we are not afraid of them.
    “We have worked so hard this season, and our goal was always going to state. Now, we're a win away and we're going to be playing at home in front of our fans and we're going to give it everything we have to get to state.”

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