Keys prepares to play the one loss, 2A powerhouse football program Vian and their potent offense will present a challenge for Keys' defense Friday in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Jerry Hood Field in Park Hill.
The Wolverines' offense utilizes multiple formations that are ran behind the stout offensive line that creates running lanes a car could fit through. The 4-5 Cougars have won their last three games, two of them being shut outs, and will look to extend their streak to finish with a .500 record, but they have possibly their toughest matchup of the season when they host Vian Friday night.
"They're the best team in the district and maybe the best team we've played all year, them and Checotah," head coach Mel Maxfield said. "They're very talented but we're excited about the challenge. It'll be kind of a litmus test on where we stand with them and go from there."
Vian transitioned from a passing offense to a run dominate team since last season, led by quarterback Javyn Wright but also utilizes running back Elijah Wright in the wildcat formation.
Running backs Gray Cloud and Xavin Lackey will also receive snaps out of the backfield behind Elijah Wright. Cloud is a smaller, fast change of pace back while Lackey is a larger back who is difficult to bring down. Whoever has the ball in their hands will be running behind their line, which is the true strength of the team. The offensive line works together as a unit to push the ball down the field.
Cougars' defensive tackles Tristan Howe and Drake Hathaway can clog the middle of the offensive line, but it will be up to the linebackers and defensive ends to contain the edges and secure tackles.
Cloud and Lackey all make their impact on the opposite side of the field, too. Cloud's speed comes in handy when running around the opposing team's line to get into the backfield and pressuring the kicker. Lackey is an OLB who can set the edge of the defense and force runners to find another running lane. Defensive linemen Solomon Wright can handle the offensive line and create interior pressure at will. He is a wrecking ball for the middle of the defense.
Momentum may be on the Cougars' side finding their stride under their new head coach and having the home field advantage, but the Wolverines won't go down without a fight.