Polk County looks to rebound tonight against Mitchell

Published 3:25 pm Friday, October 9, 2009

Polk County hosts Mitchell tonight in another key game that will determine position in the Western Highlands Conference (WHC).

Polk, 4-2 overall and 1-1 in conference, is coming off a 21-7 loss at WHC foe Mountain Heritage.

The game was much closer than the score indicates considering Polk was within a touchdown until the final few minutes of the game.

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Mitchell, 3-3 and 1-1, was edged last week at Owen, 35-28. Mitchell will bring to Columbus a potent offense that has averaged 33.8 points per game and has not scored fewer than 26 points in each of its last five contests.

Mitchell has a balanced attack led by quarterback Logan Jensen, who has rushed for 908 yards and thrown for 826 yards.

He ran through Owen last week for 244 yards.

His favorite target through the air has been Billy Bomar, who has 19 receptions for 469 yards and six touchdowns.

The Mountaineers&squo; offense will collide tonight with one of the top defenses in the region. The 21 points scored by Mountain Heritage last week was the most Polk has surrendered so far this season.

Polk&squo;s defense has been anchored by a host of players, including top defensive stoppers J.J. Maxwell (76 tackles), Marckece Cunningham (41 tackles), Cody Orick (37 tackles), Justin Blackburg (35 tackles), Seth McCool (33 tackles) and Juan Hicks (32 tackles).

Offensively, Polk will try to rebound from its lowest output of the season last week. Quarterback Dakota Turner and Justin Blackburn have been an explosive combination.

Blackburn, a senior, is among the elite receivers in Western North Carolina, having caught 24 passes for 446 yards and six touchdowns. He&squo;s averaged a remarkable 18.6 yards per catch.

Nearly half of Turner&squo;s passes have gone to Blackburn. Turner&squo;s thrown for a total of 768 yards, competing 45 of 102 passes. Polk&squo;s second leading receiver Landon Schlabach, has caught 15 passes for 203 yards.

After tonight&squo;s game, Polk will go back on the road next week to face Avery, another conference opponent. Polk then returns for its Homecoming game against Thomas Jefferson on October 23.