Polk County survives Owen 24-16 in key WHC game

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The final 24-16 score could be a little misleading. It sounds like a comfortable margin of victory for the Wolverines in their battle for the conference title.

However, it does not reflect the intense battle that took place in Swannanoa Friday night. Those numbers may not even be the most important to take away from this game.&bsp; Some would say 96 and 48 are the most relevant? &bsp;

&dquo;96 minutes of football&dquo; This is the slogan that was coined after the Thomas Jefferson game and that the Wolverines have embraced during the week&squo;s preparation. &bsp;

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&dquo;It is a great win&ellip;..we talked about during the week having 96 minutes of football still left to play,&dquo; said Polk County coach Bruce Ollis after the Owen game. &dquo;This was the first 48 (minutes) and we had to take care of business tonight and we did. Next week (against Hendersonville) will be the second 48 minutes and that will be for the title.&dquo;

It was not a pretty win but the next step in the process. The normally stingy Polk defense allowed 274 yards rushing and the offense had four turnovers on the night. Three of them were within the Owen 10-yard line and the fourth was an early interception leading to Owen&squo;s initial touchdown. The contest was a back and forth nail bitter yet wasn&squo;t unexpected. &bsp;

&dquo;I told our players that no doubt we would get their best effort and we did,&dquo; said Ollis. &dquo;They always play us hard&ellip; every game we play with them is a barn burner.&dquo;

It was timely big plays from the both the offense and defense that made the difference in the game. Polk struck early in the first quarter with Kasey Jackson&squo;s scoring from 35 yards out. Owen&squo;s first score then came with 2:09 left in the first quarter (after Polk&squo;s first interception) tying the game at 7-7. Owen struck again at the 7:59 mark of the second quarter taking the lead at 13-7 as the extra point failed. However, the Owen celebration did not last long as Andre Overholt returned the kickoff for an 87 yard touchdown. Jacob Christiansen added the extra point making it 14-13 Polk. &bsp;

Polk maintained that lead until 2:48 in the third quarter. Owen intercepted the ball on their 3 yard line and proceeded on a 96 yard drive to the Polk 2 yard line. Polk&squo;s defense stepped up for a critical goal line stand limiting Owen to only a field goal putting the score at 16-14 Owen.&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp; &bsp;

The Wolverines took the lead back for good 17-16 midway through the fourth period on Christiansen&39;s 25-yard field goal. This was set up by an Overholt completion of 38-yards to Chandler Miller to convert a long 3rd-and-22. It was Miller&squo;s second effort after the catch that kept the drive going. He was hit immediately but broke tackles for the additional yardage needed for the first down. Owen then responded with their version of the goal line stand forcing the Polk field goal.

With 2:29 left in the game Polk&squo;s defense once again made the big stop on 4th and one for Owen. Polk took over with lead still 17-16.&bsp; Overholt then added an insurance score with an electrifying 45-yard run accounting for the final score of 24-16. &bsp;