BENTON, Tenn. - Polk County football coach Derrick Davis spent a lot of time - and even more energy - getting his Wildcats prepared to play Sequatchie County in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs Friday night.
During the week, he donned a jersey and pads and played scout-team quarterback in hopes of preparing his defense for the veer offense the Indians would run. He even survived a big shot put on him by senior Chris Wimberley in practice.
"It's been a long time since I've put pads on," Davis said. "I slept good this week."
He surely slept even better Friday night. The Wildcats rushed for 366 yards and forced five turnovers in a 49-7 victory over the Indians.
Polk (9-2) advances to face Notre Dame, which defeated Cascade 38-14. That will be a rematch from Oct. 11, when Polk won 12-10.
Friday's win was dampened somewhat by an injury to Devin Weber after he scored on a 75-yard kickoff return with 58.7 seconds left in the third quarter. Early reports were that Weber suffered a dislocated elbow; he was carted off on a stretcher.
Zach Miller had 240 yards on 19 carries, including a touchdown run of 85 yards and another long run of 81. The latter came in the final minute of the first half, and Josh Silas passed to Gatlin Lanning for a 4-yard score on the next play to give the Wildcats a 21-0 lead at the break.
Wimberley scored on an end-around on the game's first possession and took a screen pass from Silas 49 yards for the Wildcats' second touchdown.
"Chris does a great job as our speed back," Miller said. "He usually picks up lots of big gains if he doesn't score. If he gets a step, he's usually gone."
Added Wimberley: "It's all about the coaches. They do a good job of preparing us for the games."
Ryan Rowland put the Wildcats up 28-0 with a 30-yard run early in the third quarter. Reno Wimberley scored the game's final points on a 20-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Despite rushing for 247 yards, Sequatchie (5-6) was undone by losing four fumbles -- three in the first half . The Indians were led by 117 yards rushing from Hayden Hicks, while Blake Cates added 67. They scored on a 6-yard pass from Dylan Harvey to Jackson Hamblen in the third quarter.
"We haven't had a lot of success against Ken Colquette-coached teams. We didn't in the past when he was at Marion, because they caused so many problems with the veer," Davis said. "I'm proud of the guys and how they played tonight; we have the opportunity to have one more week of practice and play one more game."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.