Preview: Helmet Game versus St. Marys

James Baker, Guest Writer

One week after a tough loss to Trinidad (5-3), the Manitou Springs Mustangs football team (2-6) hopes for a different outcome at the end of their rival game with St Mary’s (0-8). The Mustangs’ head coach, Monte Gutowski, said, “The defense must stop the run, allow zero big plays and execute by the goal line.”

“Even when we have had some hiccups, guys are picking each other up and being positive about it, and it really says a lot about our mental toughness,” Gutowski said in response to questions about the teams’ 0-5 start.

Despite that 0-5 start, the Mustangs still have a chance to make the playoffs barring their own victory versus St. Mary’s, and a Trinidad loss to undefeated, Tri- Peaks league leader, La Junta.

A big reason for the season’s turnaround is the elevated play of quarterback Cole Sienknecht (10). In the last three games, Sienknecht has been responsible for nine of the team’s twelve touchdowns, two on the ground and seven through the air. “I know my line can back me up, they have been for the last few weeks, giving me a lot of time to throw the ball to our receivers and get Chase [Norman] (12) in the end zone easily,” Sienknecht said.

The starting quarterback is no stranger to the rivalry between Manitou and St. Marys, as his brother was the starting quarterback for the team three years ago when the tradition of the Helmet Game began. Sienknecht hopes to “Bring the helmet back where it belongs.”

The matchup will take place at Richardson Field at 7 P.M. on October 30th.