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Polk County senior quarterback Avery Edwards tosses a swing pass to running back Mitchell Yoder during last week's loss to Pisgah


East Rutherford offers latest challenge for Wolverines

Some days, playing the role of psychiatrist is just as important for a football coach as X’s and O’s.

Some days, playing the role of psychiatrist is just as important for a football coach as X’s and O’s.

Such has been the case this week for Polk County head coach Bruce Ollis.

Coming off a 54-6 loss to Pisgah, with undefeated East Rutherford next on the schedule, Ollis is working to keep spirits high in the Polk locker room.

“Sometimes it’s more about what’s above the neck than what’s below the neck,” Ollis said.

“We’ve tried to reassure the players this week that there’s a lot of things still to accomplish for this football team. We just have to weather the storm.”

The Cavaliers will make the short trip from Rutherford County on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at G.M. Tennant Stadium. It’s the final non-conference game of the season for Polk County.

East Rutherford has raced to a 5-0 start, its best opening record since 1992, thanks in large part to an offense averaging 49 points per game. The Cavaliers rely on a running attack racking up 353 yards per game, but are also averaging almost 110 yards passing per outing.

Seniors Demetrius Mauney (64 carries, 745 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Jayden Waddell (19-439-9) lead the East ground game, with senior Jordan Harris (10 catches, 254 yards, 3 TDs) the top receiving target for senior quarterback Cameron Simmons.

There’s also good size on both lines for the Cavaliers, including 440-pound junior nose guard Ty’won Hill.

“It always seems East Rutherford have good skill players or good linemen,” Ollis said. “This year, they have both.”

Injuries continue to be an issue for Polk County, but Ollis is less concerned about those as he is getting an offense back on track that only totaled 107 yards in last week’s defeat.

“In the first thre series against Pisgah, we had a third-and-3, which is what we want to do, and we didn’t convert any of them,” he said.

“We’re trying to go fast offensively. But when you go fast and you’re not making first downs, it’s not a productive thing to do. We’ve also got to catch the ball better. If we can catch the ball, that’s going to open up more things for us offensively.”

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