Polk shuts down OwenPublished 3:14pm Monday, October 22, 2012
For such an important game cold temperatures were just enough to keep the fans bundled up and subdued.
Even the Blue Crew was not as loud as normal, but Polk’s defense stepped up to, according to Coach Bruce Ollis, “pitch a shutout” in one of its “best defensive halves ever.”
The offense, meanwhile, duplicated it’s first half scoring to come away with a hard fought 28-21 victory and Coach Ollis’ 100th win at PCHS.
Owen fumbled on their first play from scrimmage; Alec Philpott catching it midair. Taking full advantage, Polk scored on a 32-yard pass from Philpott to Reese Schlabach.
Polk went for two on a trick play, which failed and left Polk leading 6-0 early in the first quarter. That would be the last time Owen got the ball in the first half and did not score. Owen answered with a score after a 55-yard run accounted for most of the drive, hit the extra point and led 7-6. The Warhorses scored again making it 14-6 with 1:44 left in the first quarter.
Polk took the ball down field with Antony Carson making a key reception and scored. Philpott then found Schlabach in the end zone for the two point conversion, tying the score 14-14 with 5:50 left in the first half. The momentum was shifting back to Polk. Polk attempted an onside kick unsuccessfully giving Owen possession at midfield. This short field position allowed them to score again and grab a 21-14 lead going into half time. With Polk’s inability to stop the Warhorses it looked like it may be a long night for the Wolverines.
Most would agree, two of the most important elements of a good coaching staff is the ability to make adjustments during the game and knowing how to motivate their players. Those two elements seemed to come to together perfectly in the second half for Polk. The Wolverines returned after halftime looking like a different team.
“An incredible effort by our football team … we got pushed around a little bit the first half defensively. Offensively we did some good things but we still did not finish some drives we had,”Ollis said. “We challenged our players at half time… that may be an understatement, we got loud with them and said men we’ve got to start playing Wolverine football.”
Ollis said Jamie Thompson and Josh Hill got together to devise a scheme during halftime to slow Owen down.
“Our kids executed that scheme and we pitched a shut in the second half,” he said. “This is incredible against a pretty good football team.”
Madison and Polk (8-2, 5-1 Western Highlands) each have one loss in the WHC and if the Wolverines beat undefeated-in-conference Hendersonville (9-1, 6-0) this Friday, there will be a three-way tie for the WHC title.
For more details about Coach Ollis’ 100th win at Polk County, see Friday’s preview story.