Mustangs Face Powhatan Challenge to Open District Play

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Jeff Woody's arrival at Monticello, and more specifically, the juggernaut of an offensive system he was bringing with him.

Through three games, that Mustang offense has been as advertised.

Monticello is averaging over 50 points-per-game and nearly 500 yards-per on their way to a perfect 3-0 record.

But the Mustangs, the No. 1 team in the first Central Virginia Prep Football Power Poll, will face perhaps their stiffest challenge yet when they travel to fellow unbeaten Powhatan in both teams' Jefferson District opener.

"Powhatan has obviously had an historic past and Monticello has done well in the past as well so we expect a playoff atmosphere and we want our kids prepared for that," Woody said at practice Thursday.

"(Powhatan) Coach (Jim) Woodson is a legend and we expect him to have a great gameplan and we've got to respond likewise. We've got to make sure we play fundamentally sound football."

The Monticello players realize the Indians present a step-up in competition, but the Mustangs insist they're treating this week like any other.

"We want to keep our mindset the same that it's just another football game to us," senior receiver Alex McNair said. "We know the competition's going to get a little better but we have to prepare like we do every week."

"We know Powhatan's a really good team so our physicality this week has really stepped up," senior running back Tyler Wagner added. "We know it's a Jefferson District team and score so I know we're going to do well."

If Monticello is to escape still unbeaten, the offense will likely play a large role.

There was some initial skepticism going into the season about how the players would adjust to learning Woody's fast-paced, no-huddle offense but so far the results have been stellar -- a welcomed outcome to Woody.

"I'm a tad bit surprised how these young men have picked up the offense," he admitted. "It was said entering the season that the defense may have to pick up the offense to get us through the early part of the season but these young men have picked up the terminology and pace of the game."

"I'm thoroughly pleased with their outcome, their effort, not only to physically get it done in practice but to mentally figure out what the gameplan is."

Skill players like McNair, Wagner, quarterback James St. Hill and running backs Kyree Koonce and T.J. Tillery have welcomed the offense with opened arms and have witnessed their stats rise exponentially.

"Our fast offense, we're trying to get the defense offset, trying to play them by position, see where they line up," Wagner said. "We try to get the defense tired early so the fourth quarter is ours."

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