Friday Night Football Preview

Looking to rebound

By Dennis Smathers | Oct 24, 2013
Photo by: Donated Tuscola junior Houston McCracken.

The Tuscola varsity football team (6-2, 3-1 WNCAC) may have to play tonight’s WNC Athletic Conference game at winless West Henderson (0-8, 0-4 WNCAC) without the services of standout running backs Bryce Myers and Ben Greene.
Then again, the Mountaineers may not.
“As for the injuries to Ben Greene and Bryce Myers,” said Allen on his weekly radio show on AM 1400, “the best way I can describe both of their condition is questionable. We are going over to West Henderson knowing it’s going to be a tough test. Although we will never put kids out on a field unable to play or risk getting hurt worse,  both Ben and Bryce are athletes and very competitive. They don’t want to wait another week to get on the field and play.”
But for Allen’s Mountaineers, winless or undefeated, they remember losing to the Falcons (21-16) last season at Weatherby Stadium.
“Although West Henderson is 0-8, they are very scary,” said Allen. “As  a triple option team, West plays very sound fundamental football and it’s going to be a big test to try and stop what they try to do. They are extremely young and I think coach (Jeff) Whittaker has done a very good job with a ton of sophomores that are playing up. Their JV team is undefeated.  When you look at West defensively, I don’t know what we are going to get from them. I’ve seen them in many different defensive fronts. And we do remember last season. We got to be ready to win the game.”

Inside the numbers
Through eight games, Tuscola is scoring at a rate of 33.8 points a game, while the West Henderson defense is giving up 44.1 points a game.
The Mountaineers’ defense is allowing 18 points a contest and the Falcons’ offense scores just 19.2 points a game.
Tuscola is 14-6-0 all-time against West Henderson, including 3-1 since the schools resumed the series after joining the WNCAC in 2009.
Both schools come into tonight’s game having dropped a WNCAC game last Friday night. The Falcons, which have lost 10 consecutive games and 27 of the last 32 games dating back to the end of the 2010 season, were plucked by Brevard, 68-35, while Tuscola fell to the Black Bears, 27-7.
If Allen elects to hold out Greene (302 rushing yards, TD) and Myers (1,014 rushing yards, 12 TDs), he can go with senior Michael Herbertson and unleash the McCracken, junior Houston McCracken that is, to pick up the slack of the “ground-and-pound.”
But if the Mountaineers struggle from the after effects of the County Clash, Allen has another weapon he can employ to move the chains in senior quarterback Woody Cornwell, who has rushed for 324 yards and passed for 841 yards and eight touchdowns. His favorite receiver has been senior Adam Chambers who has caught 16 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns.

McCracken, Cornwell and senior lineman Brent Rathbone are the unquestioned leaders of the Mountaineers.
Expect the trio to have Tuscola ready to go tonight as it routs the Falcons ...
Tuscola 45, West Henderson 0