Friday Night Football Preview

Winning up front key to a Tuscola victory

By Dennis Smathers | Sep 05, 2013
Photo by: Patrick Parton Tuscola senior QB Woody Cornwell.

In order for the Tuscola varsity football team (1-1) to become a viable candidate for the WNC Athletic Conference championship, the Mountaineers have to develop a habit of bouncing back from a defeat.
Tonight’s non-conference game at C.E. Weatherby Stadium with visiting East Rutherford (0-2) will be the perfect time to pick up the habit after losing a close encounter last week with T.C. Roberson, 27-18.
However, nothing will change for the Mountaineers, who have successfully grounded and pounded the ball in its first two games this season. Controlling the ball and the clock with an effective rushing game may be what dooms the Cavaliers, which arrives with an 0-2 record and giving up an average of 45 points a game.
Now, it appears East Rutherford is more of an offensive-minded team as the Cavs, which are scoring 35 points per game, lost their season opener at home to Erwin, 47-28, and suffered a 43-42 setback at North Gaston last week.
Tuscola comes into this contest scoring an average of 37 points per game and giving up 13.5 points to the opponents per game.  
“We would prefer to be sitting at 2-0 but it is early in the season,” said Tuscola Head Coach Brandon Allen. “We’ve had a great week of practice and we have not shown any signs of a letdown. But make no mistake, East Rutherford is a very dangerous football team that has a lot of speed. I mean lots of speed. We don’t match up well in certain areas, so we have to be at our best up front and run the ball effectively in order to have a chance to win. If we are focused and play with great intensity, I like our chances.”
Through two games, Tuscola has played with a three-headed rushing monster. Junior Bryce Myers leads the Mountaineers with 389 yards on the ground and has scored five touchdowns, Ben Greene and Houston McCracken have combined for more than 200 yards on the ground and added two touchdowns combined.
While opponents prepare to stop Tuscola’s Veer offense, Coach Allen knows he has an ace up his sleeve every Friday night he goes to battle. That ace is senior quarterback Woody Cornwell, who is as efficient under center as QBs come.
“We haven’t had the need to throw the football a lot in our first two games,” said Allen about his QB who threw for more than 1,200 yards as a junior. “But when we do have to throw it, I  have all the confidence as well as his teammates in Woody Cornwell.”
Tuscola’s defense will be tested with East Rutherford’s speed advantage.
But so will Tuscola as ER will find it difficult to stop the Mountaineers’ rushing attack.
Coach Allen’s boys win the battle up front and win the game. Although it will go down to the wire, a close win is a win nevertheless.
Prediction
Tuscola 35,
ER Cavaliers 34

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