BY MARVIN HOLMAN
After a close 39-27 loss to Milford/Cissna Park last week, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman interim coach Jay Willaman said a key to competing with Salt Fork this week is to play from the start.
“It was a tight game and I thought we could have won if we didn’t take a quarter and a half to get going,” Willaman said. “(MCP) is a good team that has played well against the top teams in the conference, so we are going to have to play all four quarters on Friday to win.”
Willaman also says that turnovers are also a key if the Buffaloes want to take down the Storm.
“Nine times out of 10, the team with the fewest turnovers wins the game,” Willaman said. “We have been struggling with turnovers all season and we have to fix it if we are going to win.”
Salt Fork (5-1) is coming off a 57-0 win over Hoopeston Area and has scored at least 40 points in four games this season.
“You have (Luke) Maddox and (Nick) Hedges at the wide outs and they are strong and fast,” Willaman said. “(Taylor Kirby) is a great runner and their quarterback (Jacob Hughes) has a great arm.
“The only thing about this offense is that they are somewhat similar to Milford, so we have to be ready so we can make the plays.”
Salt Fork coach Brian Plotner says that the Buffaloes also remind him of a team they have faced.
“I think they are similar to Bismarck because they have three runners in (Dylan) Bina, (Troy) Rodriguez and (Ethan) Silva,” Plotner said. “They also have a good offensive line blocking for them, so it will be a challenge for our defense.
“We have had a good start to the season, but we have won with our offense. For me as a coach, that is tough,but it is good for the fans.”
In his second week of running the team for head coach Josh Cavanaugh, Willaman said nothing has changed for GRFC going into the final stretch of the season, which not only includes Salt Fork, but Bismarck-Henning next week and the Coal Bucket game with Westville.
“I am still telling them to focus on their goals and look for the opportunities and I tell them to go out and get just take it,” Willaman said. “I just want us to go out and play our best and let the chips fall where they may.”
There will be two other VVC games on Friday with the Blue Devils taking on Hoopeston Area and Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac playing Westville.
Bismarck-Henning is undefeated at 6-0 and is coming off a 49-7 win over the Comets and will host the Cornjerkers, who are 0-4 in their comeback season.
The Tigers was off last week after getting a forfeit win over Chicago St. Francis De Sales, which gave them their second straight victory. The Comets are 1-5 and will try to even their conference record.
On Saturday, MCP will host Attica for the first meeting between the teams.