When the Great Falls football team hosts the Ridge Spring-Monetta on Friday night in the second round of the Class A playoffs, it will be a case of the teacher versus pupil.
Great Falls coach Kenny Schofield coached his Trojans counterpart Heath Corley at Wade Hampton High School in Hampton 20 years ago.
“It is a honor to coach against him,” said Schofield. “He was an outstanding player, and he has done well as a coach.”
Great Falls enters the contest with a record of 6-5 after topping McBee 29-22 last week in the opening round of the playoffs. Ridge Spring-Monetta (6-5) moved to the second round with a 34-13 upset over Wagener-Salley.
Friday’s meeting marks the fourth time the two teams have met in the playoffs. Great Falls leads the series 2-1.
The Red Devils will count on quarterback Chris Culp and running backs Omar Dean and Lemarion Crane to spearhead the offensive attack. Schofield is confident in their ability, but he says the key there is up front.
Offensive lineman Matt Fowler, Tyler Langley and Tyrell Gill all missed time during the regular season because of injuries, and the Red Devils struggled without them.
“We have had some injuries in our offensive line all season,” said Schofield. “They are all back now, and I feel very good about what we have.”
The Red Devils will face a tough, physical defensive unit led by linebacker Stanley Roland. The Trojans are not very deep, but they have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball.
“We have played against some excellent defensive units this year,” said Schofield. “Hopefully, that has helped us prepare for what we will see Friday night. We just need to be able to adjust to what they do.”
Corley knows his team will have to stop a strong, diverse running game.
“They have a solid inside power game,” said Corley. “You have to respect that, and then be ready for their power sweep. Then they have a size advantage.”
Defensively, Great Falls has been led all season by linebacker David Jeter, defensive end Shyheim Kelly and defensive back Josh Simpson. The Red Devils have also received outstanding play on the defensive side of the ball from Dean at safety, Jamarcus Culp at end, and Ty Ross at defensive tackle.
“They are very athletic and quick on defense,” said Corley. “We will be at a size disadvantage, so we cannot make any mistakes.”
The Trojans have a solid running game spearheaded by Travious Wigfall, who will play in the North-South game next month. Quarterback Samuel Bedenbaugh is a very capable passer, and he doubles as an effective running threat.
“We have got to be physical on defense,” said Schofield. “They have a strong running game, several capable receivers, and an outstanding quarterback. Our defensive backs have got to be ready to play mistake-free football.”
Playing at home is expected to be an advantage for Great Falls in the second round.
“Our stadium is unique,” said Schofield. “We have great fans, they are the best in the world, and it really helps our team when they get behind us.”