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PREP FOOTBALL: Meade County faced with yet another hurdle (10/31)

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By Greg Crews

 

By GREG CREWS gcrews@thenewsenterprise.com HEBRON — After fighting through a ridiculously hard non-district schedule, climbing back to .500 for the second time this season and locking up home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a second-place finish in Class 6-A, District 2, the Meade County Green Wave could probably use a breather. Tonight, however, they won’t get it. Instead, the Green Wave (4-4) will drive 2½ hours to take on another .500 team in Hebron Conner (4-4), but in this case that record might not mean much. “You look at them and you wonder how they are not 8-0,” Meade County coach Larry Mofield said of the Cougars. “They play like a team that is 8-0, but they have played a really tough schedule, I guess.” Conner, Mofield said, plays out of a spread offense, but has a much more balanced attack than many of the spread offenses Meade County has seen this season. A big reason the Cougars’ offense is so balanced is their dual-threat junior quarterback, Nick West, who is the team’s leading rusher with 444 yards and eight touchdowns on 73 carries. He’s 137-of-218 passing for 1,780 yards and 17 touchdowns. “He really likes to run. I think he’s had an ankle injury for most of the year, but now he’s healed,” Mofield said of the 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback. “You have to try to keep him in front of you as much as you can and we have to try to make him one-dimensional. That’s the hope. We want to force him into throwing it.” West, however, is not the only ball carrier the Green Wave are focusing on. “We also have to watch out for their running back, Austin Pugh,” Mofield said of Conner’s junior, who has picked up 383 yards and two touchdowns on 81 carries. “He is a big old bruising type of back. What they do is they spread you out and open up that run. “They are a power team in a one-back set and sometimes a no-back set. They run the spread offense, but they like to run the ball right at you, which you don’t see out of a lot of spread offenses.” But as important as it will be for Meade County to play stout defense, offense may be even more crucial. The Green Wave are averaging a mere 12.5 points per game this season — third worst of the 37 teams in Class 6-A. Against a team like Conner, Mofield knows that won’t be enough. “We are going to have to score more than 10 points,” said Mofield, referring to last Friday’s 10-7 win over North Hardin. “I never thought that would have held up against North and it is certainly not going to hold up against Conner. We are not going to shut down a team like that. We’ve got to put points on the board.” Last week, the Green Wave showed their usually conservative passing game is capable of carrying its weight as they threw for 110 yards and their only touchdown — now its time for the running game to step up. “Last week we didn’t do a good job of finishing our blocks,” Mofield said. “Guys were giving up on them before the play was over. That’s not going to cut it this week. We are going to have to go strong until the whistle on everything if we are going to have a chance at wining this one.” Greg Crews can be reached at 505-1754