Varsity Football

Southeast football: Buffaloes try to tighten up defense

Southeast’s football team averaged four touchdowns a night last season. Coach Chris Asmussen thinks the Buffaloes might score even more this season.

The key is making that translate into more victories. Southeast was 3-6 last season, but from the outset — a 69-46 shootout loss to Dodge City — it was apparent that the defense had to stop giving up so many big plays and points. The Buffs gave up 37 points a game, including 151 in the first three weeks.

“We were a bend-but-don’t-break defense last year,” Asmussen said. “The philosophy this year is changing, to be more aggressive and make the opponent make decisions faster.”

With new defensive coordinator Geoff Martens, Asmussen calls it a high-risk, high-reward defense. He thinks he has more speedier athletes on defense able to make big plays — and not give them up.

Linebackers figure to be the strength of the defense. Seniors Ryan Dawson, Brandon Friesen and Braden Burleson will anchor the group and be vocal leaders, Asmussen said.

On offense, Southeast will stay with its option game and build around bruising running back William Young (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) and outside threat Lorenz Moore (5-6, 180). Senior quarterback Abiel Tekie, in his first year as a starter, is also a running threat.

They run behind an experienced line that inserts two seniors with playing experience around three returning starters.

It’s an ambitious schedule. The Buffaloes open against Dodge City, a game a year ago that featured 115 points and a 23-point Southeast loss.

“It was like a track meet, everything going back and forth so fast,” Southeast tackle Curtis Smith said.

After that is rival Kapaun, then a chance to get into the meat of the City League schedule before meeting Derby, Heights and East in Class 6A district games.

At least the Buffs have a year of Asmussen’s system under their belts. He was hired in June 2011 and the team had to adjust to him quickly.

“This is the second year, so we have a lot of kids who either started or played and they’re starting to understand what we’re doing,” Asmussen said. “We’re a couple pages ahead understanding what we want out of the offense and defense.”

Related stories from Wichita Eagle