Wolverines hit road for showdown against Owen

Published 6:51 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wolverine captain Caleb Wilson returns to the lineup tonight as the Wolverines travel to Black Mountain to take on the Owen Warhorses. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

The Polk County Wolverines are back on the road this evening, travelling to Black Mountain for a date with the Warhorses of Owen High School. While every contest is important, with just two games remaining in the regular season and the Western Highlands Conference championship on the line, tonight’s showdown carries a particularly keen sense of urgency.
The Wolverines, 7-2 overall and 4-1 in conference competition, come into tonight’s game tied for first place in the WHC with Hendersonville and Mitchell. Since, barring major upsets, both the Bearcats and the Mountaineers figure to prevail this evening, a Polk victory against the Warhorses is crucial if the team expects to remain in contention for the conference championship.
“For us, this game is the conference championship game if we want next Friday’s game to hold the same significance,” said Polk head coach Bruce Ollis, referring to the season finale next week against the Bearcats at the Little Big House.
In order to come out on top tonight, the Wolverines must first stop the run.
“Owen is primarily a ground based team on offense,” said Ollis. “For the most part, they will line up in the I formation and run right at you.”
The powerful Warhorse running attack also sets up a very effective play action pass game, particularly by use of the bootleg pass, an area of concern for Polk coaches.
“Our pass defense has been a major concern for us as we have given up big numbers the past couple of weeks,” noted Ollis. “We must get a better pass rush, which will in turn upgrade our secondary play.”
The return of Caleb Wilson and Tyler Ridings to the lineup tonight should help the Wolverines in what figures to be a dogfight.
“Every game with Owen over the course of the past six years has pretty much gone down to the wire,” said Ollis. “Our players and coaches are aware of the fact that Owen handed Mitchell their only loss of the year a few weeks ago, so we certainly will not underestimate them.”

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