The Vernon Lions
(0-5) will host the unbeaten Sanger Indians (5-0) for Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 2. The game time has been moved back to 7:30 p.m., instead of the scheduled 7 p.m. Sanger is averaging 38 points per game and giving up 14.5 ppg. Vernon is averaging 10.6 points per game and giving up 26.6 ppg. The Indians ar enjoying anewfound success –they had only one won game (Vernon’s district foe Mineral Wells last year) over the previous two seasons, but are on an impressive five-game win streak.
The Indians offense is built around running back Tallyn Welborn (6-3, 245 lb. senior). Welborn is described as a bulldozer, who loves to run straight ahead. Welborn has rushed for 896 yards and 16 TDs this season – more total yards than Vernon has amassed as a team.
Welborn ran for 259 yards and three scores vs. Lake Worth in a 49-35 win. He also had 91 receiving yards in that game.
Indians quarterback Rylan Smart threw for 239 yards and four scores in the same game. Zach Shepard is the top receiver, catching 7 for 164 yards against Howe.
Two weeks ago, the Indians played Canton in their closest game of the year, a 27-26 win. Welborn had 189 rushing yards and 4 scores. Smart passed for 146 yards. Sanger stopped a two-point conversion by Canton with a minute left on the clock to get the win.
Last week, in a 48-6 win over Venus, Welborn had 10 carries for 184 yards and 4 TDs. Smart threw for 94 yards while completing 11 of 18 passes.
For the Lions to have a chance, they will need to keep Welborn in check.
The Indians defense is susceptible to big passing plays, they gave up 414 passing yards to Lake Worth including scores of 60, 66 and 55 yards.
They are built around linebackers Creed Carter and Carson Stamper, who the coach says are “extremely aggressive.” The coach credits them with 2/3s of the team’s tackles. The Lions will need to kept them blocked at the second level to have a productive ground game.