Onalaska High School is one of several Coulee Region football teams that have scored points in bunches this season.
Tonight, however, the focus is on its defense and how to stop Central senior Johnny Davis.
Davis, the Red Raiders’ quarterback, enters a game that kicks off at 7 p.m. in Onalaska as the Coulee Region’s top passer.
“A mobile quarterback like Davis always gives defenses fits,” Onalaska coach Tom Yashinsky said. “He keeps the play alive for awhile, and the receivers never stop running. He’ll find someone 40 or 50 yards downfield, and puts the ball on a rope.”
Davis has 1,846 passing yards and has tossed 17 TD passes, which is second to Caledonia’s Owen King (20) and one more than Onalaska’s Noah Skifton (16).
Davis is second to Black River Falls’ Elliot Bird (122) in completions with 120.
Yashinsky has had a few options to try to emulate what Davis has.
Hilltoppers offensive coordinator Andy Sires — a former UW-La Crosse and Houston High School quarterback — has the arm strength to imitate what Davis could show tonight.
“He’s got a rocket of an arm,” Yashinsky said of Sires, who led the Huurricanes to an MSHSL championship as a senior. But the Hilltoppers have had a more difficult time finding a member to match Davis’s speed.
“It’s hard to simulate that,” Yashinsky said.
Meanwhile, Bangor’s defense will have a challenge in containing Brookwood running back Ben DeWitt.
DeWitt is the area’s No. 2 rusher with 1,168 yards. He does, however, have the lead in touchdowns with 19, and that includes a seven-touchdown game earlier this season.
“It’s going to be a tall task,” Bangor coach Rick Muellenberg said of containing DeWitt. “It’s one of those (things) where we just can’t over-pursue. If it’s not there initially, he does a really nice job of cutting back. We have to take away the cut-back lanes as well.”
Cardinals senior Luke Reader could join the 1,000-rushing yard club tonight. Reader has 945 yards on 104 carries. Reader has 18 rushing touchdowns.