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Beavers Sports

WIAA Football: Mazur makes Reedsburg's Offense Go

Varsity - 2008 Season
Posted Thursday, November 06, 2008 by Bill Cooney
THU., NOV 6, 2008 - 12:29 PM
WIAA football: Mazur makes Reedsburg's offense go
By BILL COONEY
608-252-6165

During a welcome window of spare time in the busy fall season, Tyler Mazur might take his fifth-grade brother up on playing a college football video game in the family's Reedsburg basement.

Mazur, a senior quarterback who runs Reedsburg's high-scoring veer option offense in the real game, loves nothing more than calling an option and fooling his brother Cal with a deceptive pitch and ensuing big play downstairs.

"But I'd much rather run it in person," Mazur said. "I like doing it out on the real gridiron."

That would be hard to argue, especially when Mazur and the Beavers (8-3) — who take on Madison Edgewood (7-4) in the third round of the WIAA Division 3 playoffs Saturday afternoon at Middleton — often put up video game-type numbers.

Reedsburg averages 41 points and 402 yards per game.
In a 70-49 victory over Delavan-Darien in Round 2 of the playoffs, the Beavers racked up 575 yards. They led 49-35 at halftime.

"You really can't help it when your offensive line is blocking great and you've got those lanes to run in," said Mazur, who has passed for 1,000 and rushed for 1,000 yards while accounting for 25 touchdowns this season. "We would be a grind-it-out team, but we just get those plays that take it the length of the field.

"The only bad thing about it," Mazur added, "is it doesn't give our defense time to rest."

Edgewood coach Al Minnaert probably wasn't resting too well just thinking about his opponent this week.
Mazur ran for 176 of Reedsburg's 369 yards rushing in a 35-28 victory over the Crusaders in Week 4. Beavers tailback Matt Lennon added five carries for 100 yards and three touchdowns.

Minnaert said Reedsburg's offense is built on speed and reminded him of an old Air Force Academy or Navy offense.

"Being good physically isn't enough. You have to be very sharp mentally because one screw-up and they get you," said Minnaert, whose team had a pair of defensive linemen injured in the previous meeting. "I've seen them have a lot of one-play drives on film."

The secret to Reedsburg's success is Mazur's uncanny ability to read a defense. Mazur, now in his third year running the offense, can take the ball and score himself, hand off to fullback Justin Huinker (849 yards, 11 TDs) or pitch to Lennon (642, 17) — whose teammates call "the fastest kid alive."

Reedsburg coach Brian Pottinger said Mazur is dissecting a defense the way coaches usually do. That alone could explain the reason defenders often end up tackling the wrong player.

"They get frustrated and they get confused sometimes," said Mazur, whose younger brother Chad plays on the team. "I love running this offense. It's a lot of fun to run. You never know what's going to happen before the snap. It just all flows."

The Beavers, winners of seven of their past eight, took perennial Northern Badger Conference power Waunakee to the limit during that stretch. Despite the setback, a 28-21 loss made them a stronger team.

How strong? Perhaps strong enough to check off the ultimate preseason goal.

"At the beginning of the season, you write it down. At the top of everybody's list is a state championship," said Mazur, playing for a program that has never advanced past Round 3. "I'm sure that's on the minds of a lot teams, but our team has never gotten there before. All 22 or 23 of us, that's the top goal. We're all just fighting for it. We don't want this to be over with."

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