Polk takes on Mountain Heritage’s high-powered offense tonight

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

Polk County lineman Luke Sellers is part of a defense that will be tested by Mountain Heritage’s high-scoring attack.

Polk County lineman Luke Sellers is part of a defense that will be tested by Mountain Heritage’s high-scoring attack.

Mountain Heritage’s offensive statistics thus far this season seem almost straight out of a video game.

Through six weeks of the 2016 season, the Cougars have totaled 50 points per game, their offense piling up almost 500 yards per outing. Mountain Heritage averages 8.5 yards per rushing attempt, with second-leading rusher Junior Denton gaining 10.2 yards per carry and leading rusher Trey Robinson racking up 9.1 yards per rushing attempt.

The numbers are impressive, but Hendersonville showed last week that Mountain Heritage could be slowed, holding the Cougars to a season-low 22 points last week in a 42-22 win. Polk County gets its turn Friday as Mountain Heritage (5-1, 0-1) visits for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

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It’s not the first time that Polk County (3-3, 1-0) has faced an offense with gaudy credentials, and head coach Jamie Thompson said the Wolverines have prepared this week just as they have for nearly every other opponent.

“You put together a game plan that takes away what they do best,” Thompson said. “That puts them in an unfamiliar position if you can do that.

“(Mountain Heritage) has had a prolific offense for a long time. Every year is different, but we’ve done a decent job in the past holding them when they’ve been scoring a lot. Hopefully, we can do that again.”

An integral part of slowing any high-powered offense is being able to keep them off the field. Ball control hasn’t been an issue for Polk County this season, but the Wolverines have struggled at times to finish long drives with points on the scoreboard. Avoiding that issue will be key for Polk County this week.

“We’ve got to be able to possess the ball and we’ve got to score,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to score every opportunity that we can.

“This is one of those deals where we’re not going to be able to get away with squandering opportunities to score.”

Polk County played one of its best halves of the season last week at Madison, holding the Patriots out of the end zone in the second half while putting together two long scoring drives to take a 28-21 victory in its Western Highlands Conference opener. That type of performance will be required this week if the Wolverines are to remain in the thick of the conference race.

“Ball control, limiting turnovers, limiting mistakes and not giving up the big plays,” Thompson said of the keys to victory.


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Records: Mountain Heritage 5-1, 0-1; Polk County 3-3, 1-0.

Series history: Polk County leads 10-4.

Last meeting: Mountain Heritage stopped a Polk County 2-point conversion attempt in the final minute to secure a 26-25 win in a game played at North Buncombe High due to heavy rains earlier in the day.

Players to Watch: Junior quarterback Trey Robinson is the top rusher in Western North Carolina with 827 yards on 91 carries. Robinson has also thrown for 658 yards on 30-of-59 carries. . . Denton transferred to Mountain Heritage from Madison during the offseason and has gained 703 yards on 69 carries. . . Justin Keener has 10 rushing touchdowns. . . Cole Burleson has caught eight passes for 212 yards and three TDs. . . Adam Shuford has 88 tackles in six games to lead the Cougar defense.

– article submitted by PolkSports.com