Bruce Ollis is feeling a bit special right now about Polk County’s special teams.
A key component of the Wolverines’ 2-0 start ahead of Friday’s clash with unbeaten rival R-S Central (7:30 p.m., G.M. Tennant Stadium) has been all facets of Polk County’s kicking game. Granted, two games do not a statistically valid sample make, but the Wolverines have been solid thus far in all phases of special teams.
“Last week, we had 14 plusses and one minus on special teams,” said Ollis, who assigns every play a plus/minus grade during film review. “That’s out of this world.”
Consider the stats from the first two weeks:
- Polk County has had 12 kickoffs in the two games. Opponents have, on average, started their drives from the 21-yard line following those kickoffs. Six of the 12 started at or inside the 20, and only two drives have started past the 30-yard line.
- The Wolverines have punted three times in two games, averaging 37 yards per kick. None of the three have been returned.
- Placekicker Matias Akers has hit 8-of-8 extra points, including a 35-yarder following a penalty in Friday’s win at North Gaston. Akers also converted a 25-yard field goal in Friday’s win.
- Polk hasn’t had many returns of its own, but junior Gage McSwain did return a punt 46 yards for a touchdown in the season-opening win over Cherokee.
Ollis credited the players involved in special teams for the success, especially a kickoff coverage team that Ollis said “takes pride” in limiting return yardage.
“Our kickoff coverage, our punting game, our field goals, everything has been spot on,” he said.