Five things to know as Polk County makes the short drive to Landrum to face the Cardinals.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. Fans are reminded about District One policies relating to attendance at athletic events.
Last week: Landrum suffered a 34-6 loss to St. Joseph’s. Polk County fell 48-6 at West Henderson.
Link clicking: Landrum senior running back Colton Link is the heart of the Cardinal offense. The 5-9, 165-pound Link rushed for more than 1,200 yards a season ago, with 18 touchdowns, then piled up 180 yards and a touchdown rushing and two catches for 34 yards and a score in the Cardinals’ 36-7 season-opening win against Berea.
Junior quarterback Titus Poore is also a threat to run, and wide receiver Braden Mashtare will also likely see a carry or two as well.
St. Joseph’s did find the answer to containing Link, allowing Landrum to total just 42 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Poore-ing it on: Poore will look to trigger head coach Brent Bridges’ spread offense, with a pair of touchdown passes through the first two games.
Mashtare is his top target, with senior Reese Dunaway and Link also threats in the passing game. Lineman Ben Ross could also be a key factor in both the ground and passing games – he earned regional recognition for his play in the opening week of the season.
Take it away: Both defenses in Friday’s game have shown a penchant for forcing turnovers thus far this season.
Landrum has induced six turnovers in its first two games, including four in last week’s loss. Polk County, meanwhile, has forced seven turnovers, including six interceptions.
Looking for a repeat: Polk County wide receiver Antonio Simpson had a game to remember last season in Polk County’s 49-7 win over Landrum, catching six passes for a school-record 224 yards and two touchdowns.
Simpson needs just two catches Friday to reach 100 for his career, and he’s also just 130 yards short of 2,000 career yards. Simpson has also been a force defensively for the Wolverines this season, and it’s becoming common to see opposing coaches point at Simpson before a play begins on either side of the ball.
Rivalry history: Friday’s game will be the 31st between the two schools, a series that began in 1989 and has continued since except for the 2018-2021 seasons.
Polk County has won the last two meetings, with Landrum winning the two meetings prior to that. But the Wolverines have had the upper hand in the series, posting a 24-6 edge.
Five of the last eight meetings in the series have been decided by a touchdown or less.