Sequoyah will travel to rival Keys Friday night for its first district game of the season.
Last years' rivalry game was played under slick and rainy conditions due to a constant drizzle saturating the field, but Keys was able to score late in the game to pull away with a 14-7 win.
Keys is 1-2 and coming off its first win in a 20-0 shutout in last week's matchup against Roland. The Cougars will look to maintain their momentum when they host a Sequoyah team that is 2-1 and winners of its last two against Miami and Locust Grove.
The Cougars will look to utilize their explosive and reliable runners to move the chains and wear down the Indians' 4-3 defense. Cougars' Bryce Sanders, Lane Taylor and Colby Nottingham will have their work cut out for them when they try to get past the second level of the Indians' defense led by Tyler Purkey. Purkey's athleticism and football IQ will show everyone in the stadium why he is one of Vype's top 100 players at his position.
Taylor has been under constant duress this season when trying to pass. His mobility allows him to improvise in the pocket to try to extend plays, but he will need help from his receivers and offensive line to create plays. Sanders, who is the primary running back, is Taylor's most reliable target. He can adjust to the ball to make difficult catches look routine and his speed makes him a threat with the ball in his hands.
Indians' quarterback C.J. Soap and running back Purkey must be contained for the Cougars to pull away with another win. Purkey is tough to tackle and as a runner and a receiver in the backfield in the Indians' spread offense. The Cougars have had trouble defending big-bodied receivers over the first three games of the season, so they will need to figure out how to minimize Trenton Harris' impact on the field Friday night.
Shamon O'Neal and the rest of the Cougars' defense will have to set their game plan around stopping the three offensive stars.