Countdown to Kickoff: Andover

Countdown to Kickoff: Andover
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT
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ANDOVER, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - After weeks of working to fill vacant starting roles with newcomers, the Andover Trojans are ready to finally hit the field.

“It’s good to be in game week,” Andover coach Ken Dusenbury said. “I think every coach will tell you that.”

Andover, ranked fourth in Class 4A in the Catch It Kansas preseason rankings, opens the season Friday against Maize South, ranked No. 9 in the classification.

Andover is coming off a 7-3 season that saw all three losses come by 12 points or less. Those losses came against 5A runner-up Maize, 4A runner-up Andover Central and a playoff loss to Hays.

“A lot of these guys were a big part of that. I think they’re hungry for more,” Dusenbury said. “They wanna take that next step. They’re very proud of what they did last year. They wanna strive for greatness.”

The Trojans must replace the majority of their skill position players around third-year starting quarterback Brady Strausz and four returning starting offensive linemen.

The Trojans’ bread and butter comes with a defensive unit that allowed just 12 points per game last year.

“We’re really physical. We like to blitz a lot. We’re sending guys up the middle and wanna get to the quarterback fast,” senior D-lineman Christian Snipes said. “I think we can go undefeated if we really do our job on both offense and defense.”

The strength of the defense gives the offense confidence.

“We may go three and out. Well, the defense is gonna come in and is gonna stop them, we’re gonna get another chance,” Strausz said. “I feel like I can kinda take some more chances, maybe.”