Polk hosts Owen in race for WHC football title

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 30, 2014

Polk County High School’s Wolverines and Owen’s Warhorses, each present much the same football team as last year. Each team is a year older; they’re similar to each other and, this Friday evening, with one regular-season game to follow, they clash in Columbus to help determine which will be Western Highlands Conference champion.

“If we win,” noted Wolverines’ coach Jamie Thompson, “we’re guaranteed a share of the conference championship. It’s a big deal.”

Polk is 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the conference, while Owen is 9-0, 5-0. Last year, Polk went undefeated in the WHC to earn the title. “They (Owen) have a lot of the same players as we do,” said Thompson.

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As do the Wolverines, Owen features a number of players who come to win, and who can lead their team to that win. Running back Jager Gardner is one of the Warhorses prime weapons. “He’s a year older and stronger,” Thompson said. “He’s their work horse.”

This year, Gardner is averaging some 208 yards per game and over 10 yards per carry. Polk’s aggressive defense need not shut down Gardner entirely, though the Wolverines’ must keep him from breaking the game open.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines, already bristling with weapons of their own, will have another on Friday, with the anticipated return to action of running back Tyler Jackson. Jackson was injured early in the season, but will be available against Owen.

“We’ll be working him in,” Thompson said.

Tonight is also the Wolverines’ Senior Night. Opening kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.