Polk Wolverines send Warhorses packing 28-12

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When Owen head coach Kenny Ford speculated last Tuesday that the 2010 Polk County varsity football squad was as good as anybody, and even suggested that the Wolverines were the best team in Western North Carolina, its fair to say that more than just a few eyebrows were raised.

Most figured that Fords praise was just an attempt to lull Polk into a sense of complacency, while others scoffed openly at the audacity of the statement, including fans and players from Asheville, Erwin, and A.C. Reynolds high schools.

On Friday night, following the Wolverines 28-12 home victory over the boys from Black Mountain, many of those eyebrows have dropped a notch or two.

Even with a few missteps, including three fumbles and 61 yards in penalties, Polk Countys offensive squad put on an impressive display.

The Wolverines drew first blood, with senior Cody Orick scoring from 9 yards out with just over a minute left in the first quarter. Jacob Christiansen added the extra point to give Polk the early 7-0 lead.

Polk County never looked back as Andre Overholt, Cary Littlejohn and Orick combined for more than 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the night, and Overholt added 64 more yards through the air, including strikes to Littlejohn, Orick, Ryan Thomas and Joel Booker.

However, it was the Wolverine defense that, according to Polk Coach Bruce Ollis, was the difference in the ball game.&bsp; Anchored by seniors J.J. Maxwell and Tyler Philpott, Polks defense came up big time and again, including twice denying the Warhorses access to the end zone after Polk County turnovers placed Owen (now 6-4, 4-2) deep in Wolverine territory, first late in the second quarter, and then again early in the third quarter.

Its a great day to be a Wolverine! said Ollis as his team huddled together on the field after exchanging handshakes with the defeated Warhorse squad.

In particular, Ollis praised his seniors, who had just won their final regular season game at The Little Big House.

The win kept Polk County (now 9-1 overall, 5-1 in conference play) tied for the league lead, sharing the top spot with Mountain Heritage (8-2, 5-1). &bsp;

The team travels next week to Hendersonville (7-3, 3-3), where a victory will assure Polk County of at least a share of the Western Highlands Conference championship. The Wolverines are pursuing their fourth title in the last five years.