Yearly border battle renewed tonight

Published 3:53 pm Friday, September 10, 2010

Landrum head coach Russell Mahaffey saw some similarities between his Cardinals and unbeaten Polk County as the two teams prepared for their annual border showdown this week.

The two teams are both driven by dynamic quarterbacks Landrums Brandon Cannon and Polks Andre Overholt on offense and both have hard-nosed defensive philosophies.

There are similarities at the quarterback position, said Mahaffey. But I think both of us have weapons beyond that. We know we have to try to contain Overholt, but we know they have other ways to hurt you.

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Unbeaten PCHS (3-0), ranked No. 5 in North Carolina Class 2A, has demonstrated just that the past couple of weeks, getting a kickoff return for a touchdown by Joel Booker, an interception return for a score by Cody Orick and a typical do-it-all performance from Overholt, who passed and ran past R-S Central 35-14 last week.

Meanwhile, LHS (1-1) looked unstoppable in the second half of a 36-9 season-opening win over Travelers Rest, but was throttled by Chesnee 41-0 a week ago.

Still, PCHS head coach Bruce Ollis has plenty of respect for Cannon and the LHS offense. The Wolverines rallied for a 21-14 win at Landrum last year.

Cannon has a tremendous ability to ad lib and in many cases is at his best when everything is breaking down around him, Ollis said.

LHS struggled with six turnovers against Chesnee, but PCHS also committed four in its win as well. Both coaches say they must protect the football better in a rivalry game that often hinges on emotion and the big play.

This is what high school football is all about, Ollis said. A great game and rivalry that exists between two states and communities separated by just a few miles. . . . We look at it as the most important game we will ever play because it is our next game.