Scotland County and Schuyler County meet to close out the regular season that has seen each team all but switch spots with the other from just a season ago.
Twelve months ago Scotland County was coming off just their second win of the season, while the Rams were running hard at 6-3. This season the Tigers are coming off a tough loss to Putnam County, but have four wins and are all but assured of a home district game next week. Schuyler this season has only been able to find the win column once. The role reversal is just one storyline from an important Week 9 matchup. The Tigers need to rebound quickly from last week that saw them get 250 yards from Will McRoberts, but due to four turnovers they lost to the Midgets. Scotland is ranked third in their district, but their lead over Pairs is just a tenth of a point.
“It’s very important, playing at home is such a huge advantage, and in a big situation like that we need any advantage we can take. It will be nice to be able to play at home in front of a nice crowd,” said Scotland County head coach Daniel Burns.
Schuyler will need to be able to handle the Tigers defensive front better than they did against Knox County last Friday. The Eagles held Schuyler to under 50 yards of total offense. The Rams struggled to gain yards but also they gave up sacks on Dan Haley to take away from their yardage.
“We will do a few things different to help out the offensive line this week, but it basically comes down to our guys winning the battle with the guy across from them if they can do that we will have success,” said Schuyler County head coach Nick Wooldrick.
Both teams will look to try and run the ball, however they will go about it in different ways. Schuyler will use a more traditional downhill attack, while Scotland will utilize their triple option.
“Scotland is very good at running the ball so we are going to have to play well on the defensive line to win this game. We will also have to tackle well to limit Scotland’s big runs,” said Wooldrick.
Zach Schmitter has been and will be the key to the Rams ability to move the ball.
“We must do a nice job up front in knowing our defensive responsibilities, we must tackle well and force turnovers,” said Burns.
Turnovers have cost the Tigers on multiple occasions this season so figuring out what Scotland has been working on this week isn’t a difficulty task.
“It's nearly impossible to win a game when you commit four turnovers, and that's what happened last week. We must take care of the football, we can’t fumble the ball in the red zone like we did last week, three times,” said Burns.
This game will likely come down to who can control the line of scrimmage. Scotland seems to have the size advantage on the offensive line and with McRoberts in the backfield. The Rams must be able to control the middle so that Chris Jackson and Cordie Kigar can’t get loose on the outside.