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Wolverines look to forget NCA, focus on stopping Hilltoppers

It’s been a week of moving on for Polk County’s football team

It’s been a week of moving on for Polk County’s football team.

The Wolverines have put last week’s 40-8 loss to National Christian Academy in the rear view mirror and are not checking it, instead turning their focus to Friday’s trip to R-S Central for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the Hilltoppers.

Polk County always knew it faced an uphill battle against an NCA squad loaded with Division I prospects. But a flurry of Polk turnovers allowed the Eagles to score three quick touchdowns in the first period, putting the Wolverines in a situation from which they would not escape.

“If we don’t turn the ball over five times, it’s a very competitive football game,” said Polk County head coach Bruce Ollis. “I’m not going to sit here and say we would have won, but we would have been in the ballgame until the end.

“Our main thing this week has been to focus on effort, execution and enthusiasm. We didn’t execute very well last week, and when you’re playing a very good football team, that puts you behind the 8-ball.”

The Wolverines will square off Friday against an R-S Central squad still in search of its first win. The Hilltoppers’ transition to a double slot offense has gotten off to a slow start, with R-S scoring just a single touchdown in both of its losses, to McDowell and Patton.

C.J. Hannon leads the R-S offense with 145 yards rushing, with quarterback Bryson Flynn accounting for 75 yards.

“They’ve got a big, strong fullback (Hannon). His parents went to Polk County High, ironically,” Ollis said. “He’s something like 5-10, 230. He’s a load.

“Their quarterback runs that offense well. He reminds me of the quarterback we saw at Bessemer City. He’s a small kid, but he’s really fast. That offense suits him.”

Flynn has hit 4-of-9 passes for 67 yards and a score, with Hannon catching two passes for 43 yards and that touchdown.

While concerned with the Hilltopper attack, Ollis is equally focused on Polk County’s offense and seeing the Wolverines keep possession of the ball when they have it.

“We’ve got to find a way to eliminate the turnovers,” he said. “Those were almost our downfall at Chase, where we dropped the ball twice. If your takeaways even out, they’re not so bad. But we’re not taking it away right now, either.

“Our players know that and are making it a priority this week to work on ball security. When we protect the ball, we can line up and play with anybody. I believe that.”

Ollis expects the Hilltoppers and their crowd to be geared up for what serves as a rivalry game, given the two schools’ proximity to each other. He hopes the Wolverines and Polk County fans will follow suit.

“This being a rivalry game, you can throw the record book out,” he said. “This is for bragging rights between Rutherford County and Polk County.

“It will be in our favor if we have a lot of fans over there rooting for the Wolverines. I was very pleased with the turnout last week, and I’d like to take the same crowd over there to root for us.”

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