These Falcons Choose To Attack On Ground, Not In Air

There are few things more demoralizing to a defensive coaching staff than not being able to stop something they already know is coming.

Cave Creek Cactus Shadows makes no secret what they want to do offensively.

The Falcons (6-3) do it so efficiently it’s tough to defend once the Falcons’ attack gets started. Entering this week’s game against Thunderbird, Mike Hudnutt’s team was averaging 240 yards a game rushing at close to a seven yards per-carry clip. Of their 29 total touchdowns entering Friday, 23 had come on the ground.

After Friday’s 63-21 bludgeoning of the over-matched Chiefs (5-4) all those flashy numbers will be inflated.

The bulk of the damage has been done by senior running backs Hayden Rummel and Peyton Kuehn, as well as junior quarterback Andrew Young. The trio came into the weekend with over 1,600 combined yards and 21 of the team’s 23 rushing scores.

All three have flourished in their new, expanded roles on varsity this season.

“Those three are all team-first,” Hudnutt said to after the win. “They want to be in there blocking for each other and when they get a chance to carry the football they’re going to run it as hard as they can.”

The philosophy fits Hudnutt’s background quite well. The former Northern Iowa offensive lineman played with and blocked for Kurt Warner. If anyone can appreciate the work up front it’s him.

He’s passed that selflessness down to his trio of top playmakers.

“I give all props to them,” Rummel said. “They work their [expletive] off. They’re practicing hard and it’s showing on the field [in games].”

Besides the “big uglies” up front, Young is one who makes the engine go getting his teammates in position for success whether it’s handing it off or keeping it himself for big chunk plays with his legs like he had against T-bird.

“His maturity level,” Hudnutt said when asked where he’s seen the most growth in his signal caller. “Understanding what we are expecting when we run our zone reads. His overall knowledge of the game has improved.”

Apparently the air up there isn’t so appealing for these Falcons.

The hunting is just fine by land.