Scores of games involving the Schley County team that visits Dooly’s Bobcats in Friday night’s regular season finale indicate the Wildcats live by offense, die by defense.
In posting the 2-7 record it will bring into the Region 2-A scrap with 7-2 Dooly, the Ellaville-based gridders have averaged scoring slightly over 30 points per game while surrendering slight above 42.
“They do score and give up a lot of points,” Bobcats’ head coach Jimmy Hughes acknowledged in an early-week conversation about the Wildcats.
“The one thing we don’t want to do is get into a shoot-out with them as they can put up a lot of points on you in a hurry. Hopefully that won’t be the case this week as we pride ourselves on playing good defense.”
Thus far this season, the high-powered Wildcats have beaten Central Talbotton (42-26) and Pacelli (58-40) and have lost to Miller (26-21, OT), Taylor (42-16), Terrell (54-24), Hawkinsville (49-20), Marion (69-21), Greenville (33-21) and Brookstone (35-27).
In an effort to make sure his squad doesn’t get into a wild, up-and-down-the-field battle with its guest, Hughes he’s stressing the importance of his defensive unit taking into and maintaining throughout the game a disciplined approach.
“How well we defend them will have a lot to do with the final outcome and toward that end we’ve got to get through all the smoke and mirrors they show by making sure we get lined up right against all the stuff they do.”
The “stuff” Hughes was making reference to was the multiple spread set the Wildcats have employed while putting 275 points to date on the scoreboard.
“They’ve shown every set known to man and then some,” Hughes said tongue in cheek. “Consequently, nobody has just shut them down as they’ve been able to move the ball on the ground and through the air with a lot of success.”
Triggering the visitors’ multiple attack is senior quarterback Jack Peavy, a two-year starter whose size, ability to throw the football accurately and familiarity with a complicated offense is paying dividends for Schley.
“He’s the trigger man for their short, controlled passing game,” Hughes said in assessing the basic scheme of Schley’s go-team. “They don’t go vertical a lot but they do use a lot of screen passes.”
Peavy and his Wildcat teammates get a huge offensive boost, too, from the presence of sophomore Tray Minter who in following up on his first-team all-region selection last year has rushed for 1,527 yards thus far this season.
“With his speed, power and ability to catch the football coming out of the backfield, he’s probably the best back in our region,” Hughes said. “He’s what makes them go and for that reason we have to make sure we find him wherever he lines up which is in a lot of different places.
“Their offensive line isn’t a very big one, but with its blocking is due a lot of credit for the way they’ve been able to move the ball both running and passing.”
In addressing Schley’s defensive outlook, Hughes said it employs a 3-4 front from which likes to bring pressure by blitzing. Still, opponents have scored 380 points on the Wildcats.
“As a group, their defensive guys play hard but just don’t seem to have the overall team speed some teams in our regions do and that’s worked against them somewhat. They may not be quite as big as others either.
“They do have a sound kicking and punting game, though, and as a team overall they’re a disciplined bunch that we know is going to come over here ready to play as they always do.
“We’ve got a lot to play for ourselves as it’s a game we’ve got to win to get a good seed and hopefully a home field advantage for the state playoffs (that won’t start until Nov. 16).
“Right now, though, we just need to take care of things we can control so that our senior night observation for our nine guys playing their final regular season home game will be a good one.”
NOTES: Dooly and Schley will be meeting for only a third time, with Dooly winning the two previous ones by scores of 42-8 in 2010 and 20-14 last season. ... Center Sedaryous Hicks is considered a doubtful participant for the season finale due to a leg injury.