By Matt Noonan
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Last Friday, Mount Ida’s football team christened their new turf with a dramatic victory against UMass-Dartmouth.
This week, the Mustangs will look to continue their momentum on the road against Plymouth State. Yet, this particular match won’t be easy, according to head coach Michael Landers, who described the Panthers as a tough and physical unit.
“This week has to be a week of toughness for us,” Landers said at Wednesday’s New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston lunch. “We need to bring a bag of rocks with us because we’re going to get into a rock fight up there at Plymouth State.”
Noontime Sports caught up with Coach Landers after the luncheon concluded to chat about his team’s first victory and game plan for Saturday.
On rallying to defeat UMass-Dartmouth in week one: “I think anytime you get into a game where you’re behind and it comes down to the last minutes of the game, it’s always a positive. Learning how to win, especially [since] this is our [program’s] fifth season, and it was really a progression for us when we first took over. We didn’t have a lot [of players in our first year of the program]. We had 17 guys on the team, and part of that final progression is learning how to win the close games, so it was a wonderful experience for our guys. [However], we did a lot of things wrong, but we won in the end, so we need to continue to get better and continue to execute better.”
On the growth of senior quarterback Scott Drosendahl: “For us it’s a new offense this year, but more importantly, Scotty started as a very young quarterback for us as a 17-year-old. He’s always been outstanding. He can make all the throws, he can make all the reads, but this year he has taken the team under his wing or as the guys like to say, he put the team on his back so to speak, and we got into that moment [last week] when there was a little over seven minutes left in the game, and we communicated to [him] that this is four minute type of offense for us and we’re going to stall. He ran that offense, he understood what we were trying to do with the clock, he kept everyone’s emotions in check, he kept us going, he kept us rolling, he kept us trying to be 1-0 on every play. He is our leader, and I said in front of the kids [the other day] that the easiest thing to do in the United States of America would be for Scotty to lie to me and me believe it.”
On the Plymouth State game plan: “We need to be physical. That’s what we want to be and that’s who we want to be. We want to be known as the team that gets 11 people to the football whether it’s offense or defense, a team that’s going to tackle you hard, that’s going to rally to the ball, and we’re going to see how many times we can knock each other down and who can get up better, so that’s really our ultimate goal. And then we have to continue to install our offense, continue to install our defense, and our motto this year is we want to be 1-0. We want to be 1-0 on every rep, we want to be 1-0 in every film session, we want to be 1-0 on every play, and we want to be 1-0 every week. UMass-Dartmouth was a great victory, great for the school, it was a huge turnout, huge event, but it’s gone. Right now, we’re 0-0 and we’re going to try and be 1-0 again.”