September 13, 2017 10:40 PM
(ABC 6 News) – The Byron Bears didn’t open the 2017 football season in favorable fashion, but thanks to their senior quarterback, the Bears quickly responded in week two.
At Pine Island, the Bears earned their first win of the season, topping the Panthers, 27-21, which was a good response to their week one 50-7 home loss versus Triton.
“We made big plays when we needed to make big plays,” Bears head coach Ben Halder said.
The Bears’ senior quarterback and captain, Michael Coble, played a big part in the win over the Panthers.
“I was just trying to do what was working, what they were giving us,” Coble said. “I wasn’t trying to do anything too special, just trying to do what would help us at the time. Everyone stayed with it. It was a bit of a dogfight for a while, and everyone stayed with it. We have great coaches and great leaders, everyone stayed with it.”
In the win, Coble threw for 205 yards, rushed for 125, and scored four touchdowns (2 passing, 2 rushing)—but all of Coble’s success was correlated with his team’s effort.
“I don’t think what people understand is that our offensive line played really well, and our receivers played really well,” Halder said. “Our defensive line played pretty well, so in order for Michael to play well sometimes, everybody has to play well.”
“My line was doing great majority of the game,” Coble added. “My receivers were blocking downfield, my running backs were blocking for me in the backfield, receivers were making plays on the ball, they were doing everything great.”
When the Bears are clicking as an entire unit, Coble is a hard player for opponents to stop and slow down.
“He’s like having a 12th guy on the field, because everybody tries to shut him down and it opens up other people,” Halder said. “He understands defense, he can read coverage, he knows where to throw, when to throw, what check to make, protection. He even has authority to check-out or check to a run play or a pass play if he likes what he’s got in the box.”
“He makes a lot out of nothing sometimes,” Bears senior wide receiver and fellow captain Luke Barth said. “We get some really big plays out of that, and he just puts the whole team together.”
The only stat which matters to Coble though is winning—which the Bears hope to continue on Friday night at home versus Highway-14 rival Kasson-Mantorville.
“We’re just looking to go 1-0 every week,” Coble said. “Every opponent is tough, going into it with the same mindset.”
“Michael is one of the most competitive kids I know,” Halder said. “That shines through leadership. When people see he cares so much about the team, the kids see that and respect that. That’s a huge quality for a leader.”
“He’s usually smiling, and I can appreciate that. He doesn’t have many bad days. He’s got a lot of great qualities, but him being joyful and having a good time all the time is really something else.”
Coble currently has football scholarship offers from St. Cloud State University, Winona State University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, South Dakota State University, and the University of North Dakota. On Tuesday, Coble received his sixth offer from Bemidji State University. Coble said he doesn’t plan on making a final college decision until after the high school football season.
Updated: September 13, 2017 10:40 PM
Created: September 13, 2017 07:34 PM
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