Polk County's Jadyn Virgil wrestles down a Patton runner in last week's win

Five things to know as Polk County returns to G.M. Tennant Stadium for the first time since Aug. 25 to fcae Hendersonville in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup.

Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Polk County rolled to a 57-12 victory at Patton. Hendersonville took a 49-20 win at home over R-S Central.

Up and down: Hendersonville opened its season with losses to West Henderson and North Henderson, and fans around the area were questioning what was wrong with the Bearcats.

Perhaps nothing – West remains undefeated and North’s only loss this season has been to West.

The Bearcats followed that 0-2 start by thumping East Henderson, losing a close game to Mountain Heritage and then hammering R-S Central last week.

“Good football team,” said Polk County head coach Dustin Fry. “It’s going to be another tough test.”

The Bearcats are very young at the skill positions, with a freshman quarterback, Jaron Ward, sophomore leading receiver (Amir Albany) and other freshmen and sophomores seeing extended playing time.

On the run: Junior Hezzie Rudisill remains the driving force for the Bearcat offense, averaging almost 100 yards per game on the ground thus far this season. He had back-to-back 100-yard games against East Henderson and Mountain Heritage before going for 90 yards and two scores in last week’s win.

Hendersonville also has plenty of size on the offensive front, and that could be a concern for a Polk County team allowing opponents to average 205 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry rushing the football. Every Wolverine opponent this season has had at least one player rush for 100 yards.

“They’re big on the lines and have some good talent,” Fry said. “We’ve got to play a really good football game.”

The big man: Hendersonville’s C.J. Landrum is finally a senior, which no doubt makes coaches across Western North Carolina sigh with relief.

The 6-3, 225-pound Landrum is a force on both sides of the ball, especially defensively. He leads Hendersonville with 39 tackles, including six for loss, and has a pair of sacks and 18 quarterback hurries this season. He tormented East Henderson with 14 tackles and 11 hurries in that win.

Offensively, Landrum has grabbbed 12 passes for 222 yards and four scores. He also ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns on six carries against Mountain Heritage.

Making his mark: Polk County sophomore Loreynzo Sanchez is emerging into a key part of the Wolverine offense.

Sanchez has recorded back-to-back 100-yard games, totalling 107 yards on 15 carries in last week’s win at Patton. He’s averaging a gaudy 6.2 yards per carry and has also proven to be a receiving threat, catching 16 passes for 102 yards. His seven total touchdowns lead the team.

LoSan has proven adept at getting low, finding holes and accelerating. His production will be key for the Wolverines as they enter the heart of their conference schedule.

A long history: Friday’s game will mark the 35th meeting between the two programs. Polk County has faced no opponent more.

The Bearcats own a 23-11 lead in the series and have won three straight, including last year’s 32-21 decision.

Polk County will return home after one of its most complete efforts of the season, the win at Patton providing a much-needed boost after three straight losses.

“I think they feel like they can compete, especially in this league, and make a run in this league,” Fry said. “It’s a big game for us.

“The guys, they want this one because they know those guys over there and it’s Hendersonville. If we want to do what we came out to do this season, we’ve got to go through them.”