Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times
The Valdosta High Wildcats are currently undefeated at 3-0 on their young season, and are continuing to improve their offense weekly. Coming off a 40-6 win over an undefeated Crisp County team last week, the Wildcats turn their attention to the Newton Rams. The Rams are 1-1 on the season thus far, with their only victory being a 15-14 embarrassment of the Wildcats in town rivals, the Lowndes Vikings.
The Wildcats will be going against one of the best throwing quarterbacks they have seen so far in the Rams’ quarterback Romario Johnson. Johnson has 422 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in his first two games.
The Rams run a spread offense and will utilize the athletic ability of their quarterback to exploit the defense if the Wildcats do not stay on their assignments.
“We are working on matching the different spread looks they [the Rams] run. They have two good receivers who we will have to watch, in addition to the threat they have at quarterback,” said Wildcat Head Coach Rance Gillespie.
The Wildcat defense has been great so far this season, causing 11 turnovers alone in their last two games. If the Wildcats can get pressure on the Rams quarterback in addition to continuing to cause turnovers and havoc in the backfield, the Wildcat defense could be their special weapon to win this game.
The offense of the Wildcats will be going against a defense that has played well over the first couple of weeks. The Rams defense runs well, and has athletic players that could cause trouble for the Wildcat offensive line if they make mistakes in blocking assignments.
“We have been working on different formations to keep their defense off balance,” said Gillespie.
Do not be surprised to see the Wildcats continue to feed the ball to running backs Malcolm Joseph (291 yards) and Nelson Herring (396 yards), who have combined for 687 yards in three games.
Also look for the Wildcats to continue to use senior quarterback Mac Loudermilk as their starting quarterback and to sprinkle in playing time for sophomore quarterback Seth Shuman who showed sparks of potential last week.
The Wildcats overall have to make sure they do not hurt themselves this week with penalties, as this game is one they can win.
“We have to clean some things up offensively. We can’t afford to have turnovers,” said Coach Gillespie.
“We also have to be more consistent on defense to contain an athletic quarterback. They have two good receivers also,” added Coach Gillespie.
The Wildcats kick off their Homecoming game this Friday at 8 p.m. against the Newton Rams on Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.