File photo by Lori PoteetSouthmont’s Jarrett Todd is one of many options that Southmont has out of the backfield.
File photo by Lori Poteet

Southmont’s Jarrett Todd is one of many options that Southmont has out of the backfield.
NEW MARKET-There will be hard hits, big plays and plenty of action.

It has to be a game between Southmont and Western Boone, right?

The Mounties (2-3, 1-2 SAC) and Stars (5-0, 3-0) meet Friday in New Market for their annual Sagamore Athletic Conference clash. And if recent history is any indication, it ought to be a good one.

The Stars have taken the last three meetings, but the Mounties took the previous four.

"It's probably been that way for five or six years," Southmont head coach Desson Hannum said of the competitiveness of the rivalry. "We always compete well against each other. We hope for more of the same this year. We want to play together and compete well."

On paper, the teams aren't very evenly matched. Western Boone comes in unbeaten and is putting up nearly 400 yards of offense, on average. Nate Bye, Western Boone's junior quarterback, is 56-for-90 on the year for 806 yards and eight touchdowns against just one interception. His favorite target is Riggs Baxter, who has 24 catches for 351 yards and five touchdowns this year.

"They have a lot of skill plays. (Riggs Baxter) can catch it, run with it, block when he's asked to. You can really tell that his athleticism can take over," Hannum said. "He's probably one of the top players in our conference this year."

Zach Martin leads the rushing attack for the Stars. He gains nearly 90 yards per game on the ground and has scored five touchdowns of his own. Baxter has also rushed for five touchdowns.

"Western Boone is solid on both sides of the ball. They're going to be at the top of the conference," Hannum said. "They're one of those teams that you really have to come out and play well against. Your level has to be raised against them."

Defensively, look out for Logan Marsh and Clay Biesecker. The duo leads the team with 51 and 48 tackles, respectively. They have a combined 21.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including 4.5 sacks from Biesecker.

The Mountie offense is led by senior quarterback Mitch Dehne. He throws for nearly 110 yards per game, but has just one touchdown and one interception on the year. He has also rushed for 224 yards and five scores in as many games. Junior fullback Nathaniel Farabee is leading the county in rushing with 463 yards and six touchdowns.

Farabee and Dehne each scored twice last week in Southmont's 27-26 win over Crawfordsville. The offense, however, fumbled six times and lost two of them.

"We played well last week aside from a couple of turnovers and a couple big plays. We turned it over a couple of times in our own territory," Hannum said. "That's something we have to focus on. We can't turn the ball over."

Defensively the Mounties have struggled at times against the big play, something that Western Boone will look to hit early and often. Tackling in the secondary and pressuring Bye will be crucial if Southmont wants to keep it close.

Six weeks into the season, Southmont is also dealing with some health issues. Starting halfback Zach Worm was injured wrist two weeks ago and has a doctor's appointment Friday, according to Hannum. Boone Welliever is expected to start after being slammed to the turf last Friday. He was checked for concussion-like symptoms but was cleared.

"It's week six. We have a few guys banged up," Hannum noted.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at Southmont High School.