For the second week in a row, the Telegraph Game of the Week pits two high-powered rushing teams against each other.
This time it’s Class D2’s No. 3 rushing attack, Mullen (3-0), against No. 12, Garden County (3-0), in a 7:30 p.m. kick on Friday in Mullen.
Individually, Mullen boasts the third-best rusher in the area in sophomore Lane Edis, who has 544 yards on 56 carries with nine touchdowns, while Garden County sports the 10th best rusher, junior Blake McCormick, who has 365 yards and seven touchdowns on 36 carries.
As a team, the Broncos have rushed for 1,264 yards, with running back Daniel Young rushing for 254 and five touchdowns and quarterback Lance Moore rushing for 207 yards and two touchdowns.
"They are so good up front that we’re going to have to mix up defenses," Garden County head coach Jason Spady said. "We’re going to have to bring some blitzes, and we’re going to have to do some stuff that we normally don’t do just to get them out of their game a bit, because if you sit back and wait for them to come at you, you’re just never going to stop them."
The Broncos run most sets out of a traditional i-formation, and any passing game comes out of play-action with Moore, who has only attempted nine passes on the season.
"It all starts up front," Mullen head coach Mitch Pfeiffer said. "Our line so far has been doing a good job of getting out and getting a good push on the line of scrimmage and maintaining blocks."
By contrast, Garden County runs a double-wing as its base offense, which presents a unique test for the Bronco defense.
"Coach Spady has a very challenging offense to prepare for. We will do our best to control their line of scrimmage to help disrupt their backfield action," Pfeiffer said. "We still prepare like usual. We want to, like I said, control that line of scrimmage and we’ll work on our pass coverages as well."
The reason the Broncos will need to be on alert for the play-action pass is because Zorn is the most efficient passer in the area. Though he’s thrown just 11 passes, he’s completed nine and five of those passes have gone for scores.
"I think [Zorn] has started the last couple of years and he’s been a very good passer when we’ve played them," Pfeiffer said. "We’ll need to be on top of our pass coverage to try and keep that to a minimum."
On top of McCormick in the running game, Zorn has rushed for 204 yards and Nic Koppman has rushed for 203 yards.
"Mainly we focus on execution, but it depends on what defense we’re anticipating on seeing," Spady said. "With Mullen, there’s several different [defenses] that they’ve ran against us over the years that we have to be ready for. They have really good personnel up front on their defensive line. We have to get those guys blocked or we’re just not going to go anywhere."
Since Garden County dropped down to Class D2 in 2012, the teams have met five times, with Garden County winning the last four. The two teams last met a year ago when the Eagles beat the Broncos 70-44.
Garden County topped Mullen twice in 2014, once in the regular season 48-40 and then again by eight in the first round of the playoffs.