Hansen, Patterson playing key roles in team's undefeated start

REED CITY -- Austin Hansen and T.J. Patterson are playing key roles in Reed City’s 6-0 start this football season.

Hansen, a 5-6, 185 pound defensive tackle is in his senior season.

“I think I’ve improved quite a bit,” said Hansen, who also played on the 2012 Reed City team that was 9-0 and  Central State Activities Association champs. “I lifted all summer.”

He’s been happy with his and the team’s performance so far.

“Red zone (performance) on defense has been pretty well,” he said. “Our defense doesn’t usually give up too many yards.”

In the first five games, Hansen felt his best performance was against Lakeview. The team’s best defensive effort was against Newaygo and Lakeview, he indicated. But he made those comments before Friday’s showdown against Chippewa Hills when the Coyotes were also impressive defensively and allowed just seven points. Being disciplined and recognizing their formations against Chip Hills would be critical, he said prior to the game.

“I have to do my own job to help everyone else out,” he said. “We’ve been working hard at it.”

The Coyotes play at Hesperia Friday night against the very dangerous Panthers who have improved their program dramatically.

“We have a target on our backs and everyone is trying to take it down,” Hansen said . “I think our team can go a long ways. Where it ends up defense on us.”

“We go hard in practice,” Patterson said. “We should be able to do good.”

Patterson is 6-3, 230-pound junior in his first year on varsity. He’s a defensive and offensive tackle, and starts on offense. He was able to make the transition from JV to varsity thanks to a busy offseason.

“I worked to get strong and quicker,”  he said.  “It’s helped a lot, working out all summer.”

Like any offensive lineman, Patterson has been responsible for protecting the quarterback and providing holes for the running game.

“We’ve been pretty effective,” he said. “There’s been a couple of times when guys have gotten through.”

Lakeview had the toughest defensive line, Patterson said, while also anticipating a tough night against Chippewa Hills.

“I think we’re doing well,” he said. “We’re going hard every single play.”

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Patterson said, “(Especially) hearing the crowd cheering us on.”