BY CHAD DARE
---- — CARLINVILLE — Preparing for the Carlinville Cavaliers hasn’t been that difficult for the Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman Buffaloes.
That’s because the two teams take a very similar approach in their offensive styles.
“You can definitely see some similarities,’’ Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman coach Josh Cavanaugh said. “Both teams want to posses the ball and both teams are very capable of producing the big play.
“It should be a very interesting matchup to see which team is able to play its game better.’’
Carlinville’s main offensive threat is junior running back Kinney Myles, who has rushed for 1,500 yards on 129 carries and he has scored 14 touchdowns.
“He’s listed as 200 pounds on their roster and after watching film, he is every bit of that 200 pounds,’’ Cavanaugh said. “He is a big back and we’re going to have to gang tackle him. It’s going to take more than one guy to get him on the ground.’’
Joeb Easterday, the son of Carlinville head coach Chad Easterday, in the quarterback for Cavaliers and he has accounted for 811 yards of total offense — 223 rushing and 588 passing.
“Their quarterback is capable of passing or running,’’ Cavanaugh said. “They don’t use him a lot, but you better not forget about him being back there.
“They have a counter-type of offense. They want to maintain possession, but they are able to hit that big play at any time.’’
Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman has done that as well this season with senior running back Dylan Bina rushing for 1,164 yards on 122 carries and he has scored 15 touchdowns, and complimenting Bina in the backfield has been junior Troy Rodriguez with 815 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
“Dylan has had an outstanding season,’’ Cavanaugh said. “And what I’ve really been impressed by this season is his ability to carry out a fake. He just does what it takes for us to be successful.’’
One of the biggest differences between Carlinville and Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman will be in the kicking game.
The Cavaliers have a punter T.J. Gray, who is averaging 42.8 yards a kick and he’s had seven of his 17 punts wind up inside of the opponents’ 20 yard line. Additionally, Carlinville kicker Barry Stewart is 5-for-5 in field goal attempts and the majority of his kickoffs have been touchbacks.
“There is a big difference between starting a drive on your own 20-yard line and the 40,’’ Cavanaugh said. “They do a really good job of flipping the field and the way they run their offense, that’s a big-time weapon.’’
After losing three straight, just winning the season finale over Westville and making the playoff for the second straight season is a big accomplishment for the Buffaloes.
“We got our confidence back last week,’’ said Cavanaugh, whose team won four of its five. “We had to play extremely well to beat a dangerous team like Westville. Hopefully, we can carry that over to the playoffs.’’
Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman is looking for its first playoff win since 2006. The Buffaloes, who are 8-14 in playoff games, were the state runners-up in Class 2A in 1994.
Carlinville has made six straight playoff appearances and the Cavaliers, who are 20-27 in playoff games, finished second in the state twice (1978 and 1993).
Saturday’s game is set for 2:30 p.m. kickoff in Carlinville.
IHSA Class 2A Playoffs Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman Buffaloes vs. Carlinville Cavaliers When -- 2:30 p.m. Saturday Where -- Carlinville High School Records -- Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 5-4 overall; Carlinville 7-2 overall. Rankings -- neither team is ranked, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman did receive two votes. On the air -- none Last meeting -- First-ever meeting. Last week's results -- Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman defeated Westville 33-13; Carlinville defeated Litchfield 48-6. Next week's games -- Winner advances to second round and will play the winner of the game between Virden North Mac and Auburn. Statistical leaders Rushing -- Geo-RF/Chrisman: Dylan Bina 122 carries, 1,164 yards, 15 touchdowns; Troy Rodriguez 122-815, 10 TDs; Ethan Sliva 51-260, 3 TDs. Carlinville: Kinney Myles 129 carries, 1,500 yards, 14 touchdowns; Garet Gwillim 77-599, 11 TDs; LaDarius Dunlap 90-349, 6 TDs. Passing -- Geo-RF/Chrisman: Sliva 34 completions, 87 attempts, 7 interceptions, 465 yards, 6 touchdowns. Carlinville: Joeb Easterday 46 completions, 105 attempts, 4 interceptions, 588 yards, 8 touchdowns. Receiving -- Geo-RF/Chrisman: Rodriguez 14 receptions, 88 yards, 1 touchdown; Dylan Mills 13-190, 2 TDs; Bina 12-81, 2 TDs; Rylee Goodwin 6-84, 1 TD. Carlinville: T.J. Gray 11 receptions, 140 yards, 1 TD; Ben Rogers 10-122, 2 TDs; Thad Roberts 9-115, 2 TDs; Dunlap 5-83, 1 TD. Tackles -- Geo-RF/Chrisman: Dakota Chapman 51 solo, 13 assist, 64 total; Bina 37-12 -- 49; Colby Roberson 27-17 -- 44; Matt Penry 29-14 -- 43; Tyler Hart 16-18 -- 34; Skyler Reed 27-3 -- 30. Carlinville: Roberts 53 solo, 34 assist, 87 total; Jeffrey Hart 46-40 -- 86; Gray 42-17 -- 59; Ethan Dixon 29-28 -- 57; Gwillim 22-15 -- 37; Dunlap 19-11 -- 30.