Following a tough loss at Smoky Mountain to close out its nonconference slate, Tuscola football has a tall task this week, as WMAC powerhouse A.C. Reynolds comes to Waynesville.
After the 37-7 loss to the Mustangs, head coach J.T. Postell is looking for his team to bring more consistency on both sides of the ball.
A defensive line that has had an overall good start to the season but allowed 248 rushing yards against Smoky Mountain will need to be play well in this one. Senior John Francis is Tuscola’s leading tackler on the season with 47, and senior Jonathan Smart leads with 10 tackles for loss.
The rushing attack, particularly the play of junior Garrett Fox, continues to be a strong suit for the Mountaineers’ offense. Fox was a bright spot in the Smoky Mountain loss, picking up 90 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
“Garrett has done a great job for us and I was once again proud of his effort the other night,” Postell said. “He ran hard and gave us good production against a good defense. Coleman Cothern also did a good job for us blocking which is crucial to our success in the run game. I’ve been very proud of both those young men.”
A.C. Reynolds once again looks to be the cream of the crop in the WMAC. The Rockets are 4-2 on the season and 3-0 in conference play, and won their last three games by an average of over 48 points.
“A.C. Reynolds has been a successful program for decades,” Postell said. “They’re a large school that reminds me of some of the schools in the Charlotte area. I believe one thing that helps them now is they platoon their players. They don’t have any starters on either side of the ball that play both ways. They also have great depth and are well coached.”
In the Rockets’ 54-6 win over North Henderson last week, quarterback Eli Carr completed 10 of 14 pass attempts for 254 yards and five scores. Markeese Jackson led the way on the ground 13 carries for 122 yards and a rushing score.
“Reynolds is once again very good this year,” Postell said. “They have great size on both sides of the ball and have speed all over the field. It will certainly be a challenge for us.”
In order to pull off the upset and avenge last year’s 37-0 loss at Reynolds, the Mountaineers will have to play a clean game on both sides of the ball.
“For us to have success, we need to establish our running game early and finish drives,” Postell said. “Defensively, we just need to be great tacklers, especially out in space.”
Tuscola’s game against A.C. Reynolds will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at CE Weatherby Stadium.