Danneels, Straub playing key football roles for Coyotes

REED CITY – Reed City’s football team will be going for a 6-0 record this week against Chippewa Hills with players like Justin Danneels and Jordan Straub looking to continue to make key contributions.

Danneels is a senior center and defensive tackle-nose guard, who starts both ways this season. The previous two years, he started as a center.

“I feel we’re just as good this year as we were last year,” Danneels said.

Whatever defense the other team is in, it’s Danneels’ role to make sure the Coyotes have the right blocking scheme taking place. The center-quarterback exchanges have been smooth, he noted.

On defense, “our job is to open the holes for the backers and then tackle,” said Danneels. “We have a good line that opens holes for our backs and our backs block really well and run the ball good.”

The defense continues to shut down opponents, Danneels noted. In Friday’s win over Lakeview, the Coyote defense held the Wildcats in check within the Coyote 5-yard line with the game at stake thanks to a fumble. Danneels’ had eight tackles in the game.

“I don’t think we played our best,” Danneels said. “But they definitely came to play. They’re a good team.”

Against Chippewa Hills, “we’ll have to come ready to play,” Danneels added. “We have to keep our offense and defense going and keep everyone healthy.”

Straub, a senior running back, transferred to Reed City from Big Rapids prior to the opening of the season. He’s playing running back.

”I thought it would be hard for them to accept me because I’m coming from our biggest rivalry,” he said.

But Straub said he was able to fit in nicely to the Coyote offense.

He’s also working on his speed right now but he’s had some big games. He scored twice and ran for 128 yards in Friday’s 21-14 win at Lakeview.

On defense, Straub is a starting outside linebacker.

“It depends on the offensive team and what they run,” Straub said. “Usually, it’s rush the quarterback, take on the lead blockers and pursue the ball.”