REED CITY – Reed City linemen Matt Crysler and Austin Hansen have enjoyed the first seven games of the season for the Reed City Coyotes. But they’re hoping the next two regular season games, plus the playoffs, will prove to be even more enjoyable.

“Our whole line is setting up a lot and running backs are getting to the holes and making their runs,” Crysler said. “Our defense is good. Everybody is pursuing to the ball.”

Crysler starts at left guard for the offense. He points to the recent win over Chippewa Hills as perhaps his team’s best game.

“We came out firing at every snap of the ball,” he said. “We want to beat everybody, go undefeated again and win the conference and host a playoff game.

“Whenever we make big plays, we start yelling and shouting and everyone gets wild and we keep going,” Crysler said. “Our (scout) offense and defense go hard for us and give us our reads.”

Hansen is a junior nose guard and left offensive guard and starts on defense.

“Our defense has really stepped up this year,” Hansen said. “This year, we’ve kept up with that good defense. We’ve been able to just about handle everything. Our interior stops the runs and makes it easier for our defensive backs to stop the passes. It helps everybody out.”

Hansen noted that his team had a strong summer season.

“All year round is the season,” he said. “There’s no time off.”

The undefeated start doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise.

“We were confident but we knew it was going to be tough,” Hansen said. “We had to play like we knew we can play and do the job.”

Against Lakeview, the Wildcats turned the ball over near the Reed City goal-line late in the game while threatening to score.

“We had to come up with a stop,” Hansen said. “We had to stop them anyway we could. Luckily they made a mistake and we capitalized on it.”

Having close games could prove to be a blessing down the road for the Coyotes, Hansen agreed.

“The end of the season is something you have to work hard for,” he said. “We hope to go undefeated and prepare ourselves for the playoffs. Everybody is trying take us out. We’re No. 1 and there’s a target on our backs. Everybody wants to hit it. We have to do what we do best.”