With every talk of anticipation for tonight’s game, there is a glint of curiosity. Will the Green Wave remain undefeated after a district showdown with the 7-1 Indianola Colonels in the biggest game in 2A action tonight?
The Colonels come to Green Wave field tonight with a district record of 3-0 and so do the Green Wave team.
This game continues the trip down the division road and will culminate with the next couple of games. The stakes are high for the Green Wave team.
Against the opposing teams, the Green Wave has been the beneficiary of its own hard work and preparation. Thus far, the direction of the team has gone forward each week. That forward motion will be necessary against the Indianola talent.
Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston has been cautious about sounding overconfident about the team every week. But even when he mentions his team’s mistakes, he’ll toss out the line, "I am very proud of them. They have worked very hard as a team to get here."
Johnston believes in the team. He knows this team is different from last year’s team.
The Green Wave team has rushed the ball 340 times for 2,853 yards in eight games. They are led by Dustin Maples. In eight games, he has rushed for 938 yards on 83 carries with 17 touchdowns.
Adam Goodwin has rushed 56 times for 591 yards. Hunter Coy has rushed 51 times for 400 yards. Forrest Wilbanks has rushed for 57 times for 309 yards.
The Green Wave defense has also been a key to the success. Leading the defense are Brandon Ciaramitaro, Coy Bland, Hal West, Scott Ross, Clint Egbert, Patrick Ellis, Harrison Nickle, Jacob Gurley and Cody Hallmark.
The backup team has carried its own load. The players have come in for most of the games and played just as hard as the first team.
Some backup players include Evan West, Nick Douglas, Dakota Mabry, Jon Ware, Jim Beard, and Andrew Dinetelman.
The Green Wave are No. 1 in the Academy AA District 1 and they are ranked No. 3 in the Clarion-Ledger AA poll. Simpson and Oak Forrest are ranked above them.
Johnston said Indianola feels good about its chance tonight and so do the Green Waves.
"Indianola has got some really good skilled people and they run the football hard," said Johnston. "This group this week are going to crowd the line of scrimmage and they play what I call a down hill defense. They come at you on every play. That is a good and bad thing. If you can get those people blocked at the point of attack, get pass that first wave, then you have got a chance to have a lot of success."
Johnston said Indianola has a good football team.
"They have only lost one time and that was to Washington, which was ranked in the top five in 3A at the time. Seeing that game on film, we see they are the most physical football team we will face," said Johnston.
According to Johnston, Indianola running back James Michael Dill runs the football harder or as hard as any back they have faced all year long and he has real good speed.
"The quarterback makes real good decisions," Johnston said. "He is the one who kind of holds it all together for them.
"It should be a real good football game," Johnston continued. "We have to have a better effort in the first half than we did this past Friday night, if we are going to be successful. It is a big game and we are preparing. Hopefully, we can play a mistake free football game and see what happens."
By tonight’s 7:30 kickoff, there will begin to be a reckoning. The Green Wave football team will be tested and will find out exactly where they are as a football team.
Indianola is expected to bring many pep buses. There may only be standing room for tonight’s crowd.
"We are going to need a big crowd out here tonight," Johnston said. "Hopefully, we will get that done."
The pep rally for the team is at 2:30 p.m. Tune in for the pregame show with Johnston and Mickey Aldridge at 7 p.m. on FM 106.9.