The White Pigeon football team closes out the regular season with two nonconference games, including tonight’s tough test at undefeated Lawton. With the Chiefs standing at 4-3 overall and badly battered by injuries, it’s going to take their best effort of the season to keep their playoff hopes from evaporating.
Having outscored their opponents 306-97 this season, the Blue Devils are currently ranked No. 9 in Division 7. Lawton scored six rushing touchdowns in a crushing 63-0 home win over Marcellus last Friday, led by John Coleman’s 114 yards and two scores on seven carries (16.29 yards per take). Brandon Turner added 24.67 yards per rush on three carries for a pair of TDs. Quarterback George Gilley completed 7 of 9 passing attempts for 168 yards and a touchdown.
Both White Pigeon quarterbacks, Matt Eger (shoulder) and Dylan Hochstetler, have been dinged up most of the year. Hochstetler took a hit to the chin last week against Mendon. Running back Chas Rathburn missed most of that contest with a knee injury and told JoeInsider.com earlier this week he’s going to try and play versus Lawton. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Chiefs injuries.
“Most of our injuries are question marks,” White Pigeon coach Joseph Morsaw said. “We will find out Friday afternoon if some of our players are available from the week before.”
No matter what, White Pigeon faces a Lawton offense that’s balanced and extremely efficient.
“Lawton runs the [I-formation], but their strength is a group of receivers who can catch,” Morsaw added. “They throw the ball well and they throw early. They also have a large fullback who will not go down with one hit. Defensively, we will see another 4-4 defense and No. 24 also anchors the middle of their defense at [middle linebacker].”
Morsaw explained how this week’s practices were all about the next man up.
“With our injuries, the next player in the depth chart needs to work hard and get the job done … not only on Monday-Thursday, but Friday night as well.”