Five things to know as Polk County travels to Patton for its Mountain Foothills 7 Conference opener.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. in Morganton.
Last week: Polk County dropped a 47-21 decision at Landrum. Patton suffered a 56-6 loss to Freedom.
Rough start: Steve Goggio is in his first season as Patton’s head coach after serving most recently as the defensive coordinator at East Lincoln. Goggio’s tenure with the Panthers has gotten off to a rough start.
Through four games, Patton has scored 12 points, two touchdowns, while allowing 199 points. That translates to an average score fo 50-3.
Goggio, though, undoubtedly knew his road would be a tough one early with a Panther program that finished a combined 4-22 over the past three seasons.
Leading the way: Senior running back Desmond Sexton has been the heart of Patton’s offense, rushing for 200 yards on 49 carries in the first four games.
Quarterback Burke Wilson has completed 11-of-29 passes for 65 yards. His top target is senior Samuel Huffman, who has four receptions for 37 yards this season.
Almost there: Polk County senior Antonio Simpson is nearing a milestone that no other Wolverine has reached as far as anyone can determine.
Simpson now has 1,945 career receiving yards, meaning he’s just 55 short of 2,000. Richard McEntyre is listed as the current career record holder for Polk County, but no total is available. Research indicates that McEntyre had 1,822 yards for 127 of his career catches, with 16 catches missing from his sophomore season in that total. Based on his average for what’s known of his sophomore season, McEntyre likely had just under 2,000 yards.
Simpson has 105 career catches, 38 short of McEntyre’s career record.
Favorable history: Friday’s game will mark just the third time that Polk County and Patton have met, both of those coming since the formation of the Mountain Foothills 7.
The Wolverines have won both meetings to date, a 41-8 win in their first trip to Morganton and a 41-20 victory last season in Tennant Stadium. Patton did have a 19-7 lead late in the second quarter in that game, but Polk put together a 28-0 second-half showing to rally for the win.
Angus Weaver had 244 yards and four touchdowns in that win.
Not looking ahead: As the only 1A school in the MF7, Polk County can earn an automatic playoff berth by either finishing in the top three in the league or posting a .500 overall record. Currently at 1-3, that means the Wolverines will need to go 4-2 in league play to earn that berth, which would also likely place them in the top three.
Head coach Dustin Fry is not even thinking about any of that at the moment.
“Honestly, I have to look at the schedule on my door to see sometimes who we play next,” Fry said. “It is all about this week, because if I start looking forward to thinking, ‘Oh, we’ve got this com,ing up and this coming up,’ it becomes a distraction.
“It’s 10 one-game seasons. When you start looking ahead, I just feel like you almost start counting the day or counting the season away. That’s not my mindset.”