Titans play final road game of 2019 at Mission
GRANITE COUNTY – No opponent may be better known to the Flint Creek Titans than the Mission Bulldogs. They have faced each other three times in the past two seasons with the locals winning each time.
Before we get into the game, here’s a glance at the game-day outlook.
When the 2017 season opened, Mission (aka St. Ignatius) was dropping into 8-man after a tough run in 11. The Bulldogs were somewhat decimated from graduation and their starting lineup was populated with a number of sophomores. Two seasons and three games with the Titans later, those sophomores are now seniors and are having a stellar year at 6-1.
Mission’s first game in 2017 was against the Titans, who won the game 58-0 in St. Ignatius amid some rough play by the Bulldogs. But Flint Creek Head Coach Mike Cutler thinks that attitude was a residual of the previous staff.
“That was the game that Nate Brashear got taken out in,” reflected Cutler. “There were a lot of words back and forth from the sidelines. But that was a team that Ty (Murray, Mission head coach) inherited. He’d been with those kids for 13 practices at that point. That team is not like that anymore.”
Cutler and Murray have been friends for a while, so the chances of one team not knowing what the other is up to are minimal. The Titans know that the Bulldogs are going to be bigger and talented, while Mission is aware that Flint Creek is well coached and not going to roll over and play dead.
Under center for the Bulldogs is senior Isaac Dumontier (33-for-59, 294 yds, 6 TD/1 INT) has played in six games this year, but has shared time with freshman Kellen Mcclure (40-for-65, 417 yds, 6 TD/6 INT) who’s played in five. Whichever one starts under center, it is clear that both are susceptible to throwing a pick against a talented Titan secondary.
When Mission goes to the ground game senior Troy Matt leads the attack. Matt has 504 yards on 69 carries and 12 scores. He also three games on 100+ yards. Helping Matt are Dumontier and Layne Spidel who have a combined 350 yards.
For Flint Creek, all things offensive stem from junior quarterback Kade Cutler. After suffering a fracture on his non-throwing hand just before the season, Cutler has had the cast off for a few weeks and his passing skills have quickly returned. In seven starts this year the second-year play caller is 48-for-94 for 900 yards and 16 TDs against three interceptions.
The biggest question for the Titans will be on the line, where they lost two players in their 50-28 win over Darby. Just before the half lineman Tucker Weaver dislocated his right knee cap and awaits an MRI to see if there was any additional damage. A few moments later, senior lineman Wyatt Rigby went down on a hard hit during an onside kick. He remains on concussion protocol this week and will miss the game as well.
Cutler figures to utilize sophomore Leyton Wagner on the line against Mission and maybe again next week versus Victor.
“He’s always going to be a running back/wide receiver for us and he knows that,” said Cutler. “Leyton’s one of those ultimate team players. He’s excited about it and he knows where his role is on the team in the future.”
Flint Creek’s playoff positioning is very much up in the air, but probably hinges more on their game with Mission than it does on its season finale with Victor (October 25 @ 7 p.m. in Drummond). Should the Titans win both games they would likely finish third in the Western Conference, while going one and one would land them in fourth. Should they lose both games Flint Creek would most likely be eliminated from the postseason.