Polk Wolverines upend Mt. Heritage

Published 6:42 pm Monday, September 26, 2011

No. 83 Markece Cunningham takes down the Mountain Heritage quarterback in the Wolverine’s Friday game. (photo by Fulton Hampton)

Polk County took their undefeated conference record on the road last week, making the long trip up to Yancey County to square off against Mountain Heritage High School.
The annual matchup between the two powerhouse programs has quickly become a competitive, and often ugly, slugfest, and Friday’s contest was no exception, as the Wolverines escaped from the “The Pit” with a 26-14 victory.
“It’s a tough place to play,” remarked Polk County head coach Bruce Ollis following the win. “Mountain Heritage plays very well at home, and we knew that going in.”
The Cougars drew first blood quickly, as all-conference standout Austin Rice broke loose for a 32-yard touchdown run on Heritage’s first possession. Following the successful two-point conversion, the home team had taken the early eight point lead, issuing notice to the Wolverines that, as usual, there would be no easy victory to be had in Burnsville.
Any momentum the Cougars gained from the early score quickly evaporated, as Polk quarterback Alec Philpott hit Cary Littlejohn on the Wolverine’s second play from scrimmage with a 75-yard touchdown pass to even the score.
“We caught them in man coverage and ran a wheel route out of the backfield,” said Ollis. “It was a big play because it helped quell the motivation they had gotten by jumping off to an early lead.”
Following a successful two point conversion run by Philpott, the teams headed into the locker room at halftime with the score knotted at eight apiece.
Following the intermission, the Wolverines came out on fire, scoring three times in seven plays on touchdown runs by Joel Booker, Littlejohn and Philpott, as Polk County posted 18 unanswered points onto the scoreboard. The flurry of scoring activity is rapidly becoming a trademark of Wolverine football this year, and effectively took any remaining wind out of the Cougar’s already sagging sails.
Littlejohn finished the evening with two touchdowns, carrying the ball 12 times for 104 yards, and added 83 more yards on two receptions. Philpott went 4 for 10 for 119 yards and two touchdowns, including a 7-yard run late in the third quarter. Joel Booker added a 60 yard touchdown run during the Wolverine’s 18-point third quarter score fest.
“The only disconcerting thing about the game was that we had the ball down inside their 20 yard line three or four more times and didn’t put it in,” said Ollis, who quickly added, “but that can be rectified.” Ollis was quick to point out that, missed opportunities aside, a win is still a win, regardless of the final score, especially on the road.
“I’ll take 26-14 every night they’ll give it to me,” said Ollis.
With the win, the Wolverines improve to 5-1 overall and a perfect 2-0 in conference competition. This Friday, the Wolverines return to the Little Big House to host Mitchell, who are 1-1 in the WHC after dropping a three overtime nail biter to Owen Friday in Swannanoa.

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