Cardinals, Wolverines take field in border rivalry

Published 10:26 am Friday, September 9, 2011

Landrum running back Cole McDowell runs through a hole against Chesnee last Friday. (photo by Joey Millwood)

Another chapter will be written tonight in the Landrum-Polk County border rivalry and it’s shaping up to be a good one.
Both teams are riding high coming into this game.
Landrum went on the road and beat Traveler’s Rest in week one and the team is coming off a huge, dramatic last second win over Chesnee last Friday night.
The Wolverines have won their first three games. Polk has beaten Tuscola, Brevard and R.S. Central. The veteran defense has given up only 13 points in the last two games.
The defense that will be needed against a Landrum offense starts with quarterback Brandon Cannon.
“Containing their quarterback will be a huge concern for us,” Polk coach Bruce Ollis said. “(They’re) very explosive. We will have to defend the entire field because they are capable of scoring from anywhere.”
The Wolverines have dominated the rivalry in the last decade. Polk has won eight straight in the series. The Wolverines will be relying on star running back Cary Littlejohn. Through three games, Littlejohn has run for 320 yards.
The big question for the Wolverines will be at quarterback. Alec Philpott was injured after the first game and Reese Schlabach has come on to win the next two games as the starting quarterback.
Schlabach, however, is injured now and Philpott is a game time decision.
For the Wolverines to win this game, they can’t get caught up in the rivalry, Ollis said.
“It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the rivalry and forget that we still must execute and play Wolverine football,” Ollis said.
For the Cardinals, it comes down again to playing mistake-free football, head coach Russell Mahaffey said.
The Cardinals have an added incentive aside from not beating the Wolverines since 2002.
“(A win would be) big,” Mahaffey said. “We haven’t been 3-0 since 2004.”
The game will start at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Landrum.

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