STORY BY: JORDAN MESEROLE
On paper, Friday’s matchup between Willis and Rudder appears to be pretty evenly matched. But similarities aside, after Friday’s game at Merrill Green Stadium, only one team will mathematically still be around in the playoff hunt.
The Willis Wildkats pass for 150.4 yards a game, rush for 118.4 per game, record 0.6 sacks a game, and average 18.3 points, while the Rudder Rangers pass for 74.6, rush for 205.9, gather 0.8 sacks, and notch 23.6 points per game. Even further in the similarities, Willis (2-3, 2-5) only stands one game ahead of Rudder (2-4, 2-6) in the District 18-4A standings with just two wins on the season for each team.
Willis is looking to rebound from a 41-18 loss to Montgomery last Friday, in which the Wildkats were only able to gain 38 rushing yards in the game. Senior quarterback Lofton Bean is the key piece to the Wildkats offense, averaging 150.4 passing yards per game, and has thrown a touchdown in all but one game this season.
Rudder is also looking to get back into the win column, after a heart wrenching 35-14 loss to Brenham last Friday, in which the Rangers’ defense gave the team a winning chance, but the offense couldn’t capitalize.
Most importantly, Rudder will have senior running back Tre Guyton in the backfield again, as Guyton missed the entire second half of the Brenham game with a bruise on his ankle after taking a direct hit from a helmet in that area. Guyton currently leads the district with 1,222 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, and has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in all but one game this season.
Kickoff between Rudder and Willis is set for 7:30 pm at Merrill Green Stadium.