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West Lincoln vs. Wolves Friday night

West Lincoln will be trying to make history Friday night when they travel to Puckett.

With a win, the Bears will have the best start in school history. To do that, they’ll have to beat a team that’s known as one of the top small school programs in the state.

The Puckett Wolves won 1A state titles in 2002, 2006 and 2008. The Wolves have long been a program known for using a power rushing attack to outclass their opponents. This year, their offense features plenty of speed, something that West Lincoln coach BJ Smithhart knows his team must try to counter.

“We can’t let them get outside on us,” said Smithhart. “They’ve got some guys that we won’t be able to run down from behind. We’re going to have to be very physical up front and tackle well.”

The Wolves’ offense is led by a duo of sophomores, quarterback Ty’vez Tate and running back Zay Taylor. Taylor is a powerfully-built runner that looks like a 2A version of Marshawn Lynch. Tate is more than just a runner and can pass the ball with some accuracy.

“They operate out of the shotgun and they stay in a four-wide set that makes you honor their ability to throw the ball,” said Smithhart.

The Bears are coming off a 38-28 win over Salem in which they came back from a 28-20 halftime deficit.

Puckett has wins over 4A Richland (49-38) and Enterprise (31-0).

“Our fans are excited and I know we’ll have a great crowd there supporting us,” said Smithhart. “Puckett has a great tradition and a very good team this year, and our guys are excited about going to see how we compete.”

Story by Cliff Furr