High notes to begin and end, a bit of flatness in the middle – all in all, a preseason debut that sounded just fine for Polk County head football coach Bruce Ollis.
The Wolverines turned in a typical scrimmage showing on Wednesday during a four-school event in G.M. Tennant Stadium – Polk County saw both positive signs and areas that still need some work during two hours of action against North Henderson and Hendersonville.
Playing on half of W.J. Miller Field and in both a controlled 10-play setting and a standard regular-season format, Polk County matched scores with North Henderson, then struggled for a time against a very good Hendersonville squad before closing the evening with a touchdown drive against the Bearcats.
“We started well, the middle was not so great and we ended with a flurry,” said Ollis. “This gives us something to build on.
“We did a lot of things well early. As the night wore on I think we got a little tired and we didn’t execute as well, didn’t tackle as well and didn’t block as well. But we scored at the end against a good defense, which is very positive.”
Save for a couple of long scoring plays early, Polk County largely shut down North Henderson’s offense. The Wolverines, meanwhile, got touchdowns from Dillon Overholt and Mitchell Yoder and just missed another when tight end Markell Lipscomb was ruled out of bounds on a catch in the back of the end zone.
A Hendersonville team ranked ninth in the state in one preseason 2A poll scored on its first play against Polk County and showed how explosive it may well be on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
But Polk County persevered and, led by junior quarterback Avery Edwards, marched downfield on the final drive of the night and scored on Austin Wilson’s short touchdown run.
Following all three scores, senior kicker Luis Hernandez drilled the extra point.
“We recruited Luis Hernandez one day before the season started,” Ollis said. “I’m going to have to put Wyatt Derkach in charge of recruiting. He said he could talk Luis into playing and got him out here. He’s got a lot of potential.”
Polk County will travel to Bessemer City on Friday for its final preseason action, taking part in a jamboree beginning at 6 p.m. The Wolverines will then turn their focus to their season opener against Chase on Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in G.M. Tennant Stadium.