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PREVIEW - Wisconsin Rapids

by Chris Conley

EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU): Opposing coaches hate playing Wisconsin Rapids. The Red Raiders are the last remaining team in the Valley Football Association that runs the option. It's tricky to defend. Last year the Evergreens defense practiced without using a ball, since defending the option is more about covering your assigned running back rather than swarming to where the ball is. If you overplay the ball, a pitch-back to an uncovered running back becomes a back-busting play. Defending the option is a big adjustment. You work on it once and then go back to a more traditional defense the following week.

I think Everest will be fine, in part because their defense looked solid for most of the game last week. Rapids also lacks a big, bruising up-the-middle running back this season... that's an important part of a good option offense to keep your opponents honest. Overall, Rapids doesn't have much size this year.

With normal week-one-to-week-two improvement, the Evergreens will be better. I think Darren Sanchez and the Everest running backs will find that Rapids is an easier team to move the ball against than SPASH. They're the better team and should put more points on the board. Everest should be favored to get a win on Friday night.

Chris Conley