Thursday, October 27, 2011
KINGDOM CITY — The North Callaway Thunderbirds get their turn again to devise a blueprint — defensive or otherwise — that can somehow impede Southern Boone’s prodigious running game.
North Callaway will employ those strategies tonight when it hosts Southern Boone for the Class 3, District 6 championship (kickoff at 7) in the regular-season finale. The Thunderbirds and Eagles, both 5-4 overall and 2-0 in district play, have already guaranteed themselves spots in the state playoffs for a second year in a row.
There is no mystery about the intent of Southern Boone’s double-wing offense: Run the ball almost exclusively and rule time of possession. The Eagles — who score 37.2 points a game — are averaging an extraordinary 355.8 yards rushing this season.
What is baffling for opposing defenses is coming up with a feasible solution to slow Southern Boone’s grinding ground game. The Eagles manhandled North Callaway’s defense for 347 yards rushing in Southern Boone’s 32-13 win over the Thunderbirds for the District 6 title last year at Ashland.
“It can be a helpless feeling,” North Callaway head coach Mike Emmons said Tuesday afternoon. “… From our standpoint, we’ve got to try to get them off-schedule — get them to where they’re not getting 4 yards a carry. You can mess that up once and maybe they don’t get a first down or you can get a turnover, but all those things are very hard to do with the way they do things.