For Woodstock (1-5, 1-2 Region 5AAAAAA) a win is almost a necessity if it wants to keep its playoff hopes alive.
After their rocky start to the season — with losses to five teams bearing a combined record of 25-6 — the Wolverines and coach Brent Budde hope to show that they are a better team than their record indicates.
Against Roswell (1-5, 0-3), the Wolverines will encounter an opponent that, much like themselves, has shown flashes of a being a good team, despite an equally poor record.
“They’ve dropped a few close games here and there to some good teams, so I definitely think that they are a better team than their record indicates — especially when they have a tailback like that kid,” Budde said.
That tailback is Andrew Kwateng, one of the state’s leading rushers. The senior, who has amassed 1,085 yards and nine touchdowns, has been the focal point for the Hornets’ offense all season long.
Woodstock will have to overwhelm Roswell at the line of scrimmage if it is going to slow Kwateng down, Budde said.
“We just have to get up to the line and get more hats on the ball than they can block,” Budde said. “It’s a simple numbers game. Sometimes, we may have to commit to stopping the run and force them to beat us with something else.”
Despite facing the daunting task of stopping Kwateng, Budde feels his team’s experience against what he considers to be other elite running backs — such as Walton’s Tyren Jones — has helped the Wolverines in their defensive preparation this week.
“I think (Kwateng is) a good running back, one of the top ones in the state, but I don’t think that he’s the best running back that we’ve faced this year,” Budde said. “I think that some of the running backs that we’ve come up against this year have helped us to be ready for him.”
On Woodstock’s side of the ball, junior Alex Motsinger will start at quarterback for the second week in a row.
After sitting behind sophomore Justin Agner for most of the season, in part due to a preseason injury, Motsinger jump-started the Wolverines’ offense against Cherokee, accounting for 139 of Woodstock’s 243 yards of total offense, as well as two of the Wolverines’ four touchdowns.
“He did a great job two weeks ago against Cherokee,” Budde said. “He has earned the right to continue to lead our offense.”
With the Wolverines’ playoff hopes potentially on the line Friday, the importance of the game isn’t lost on Budde.
“Getting a win is what we have to do to keep our chances of a playoff berth alive,” Budde said. “This is one of those games that we have to have.”