Wolverines travel to Owen for conference showdown

Published 12:02am Friday, November 1, 2013

The quest for the Western Highlands Conference football title has narrowed to this evening, when the Polk County High School Wolverines travel to Owen High School in Black Mountain.
Polk, 6-3 overall, and 4-0 in conference play, is fresh off a bye last week, while the Warhorses (8-1 overall, and 5-0 in the WHC) are fresh off a 31-14 win last week at Hendersonville. Hendersonville, whom the Wolverines will host on Senior Night, Nov. 8, fell to 3-2 in conference play.
The steadily-improving and healthy Wolverines have won their last six games. This is Owen’s last game of the season.
“We’re playing for the conference title at Owen on Friday,” Wolverines’ head coach Bruce Ollis announced in his usual no-nonsense manner.
To defeat Owen, Polk will have to contain the Warhorses’ stellar 6’3” 195-pound running back, Jager Gardner (#5).
“They’re a run-first team,” said Ollis, noting that Owen’s offense will use the run about three plays of every four.
Gardner has gained over 2,200 yards this season, averaging nearly 11 yards per carry. Polk will “try to hold him in check,” said Ollis. To accomplish that said Ollis, Polk will try to “make Owen do something it doesn’t do that much- throw the football,” and try to “prevent him (Gardner) from winning the game.”
Ollis said his defense will try to take away those 50 and 60 yard runs of which Gardner has reeled off plenty.
“It’s a big challenge,” Ollis said of this contest. “It’s a great opportunity. We’ll enjoy the moment, and take advantage of the opportunity.”

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