By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – New week, a new challenge.
For Southwest Covenant, last week was their biggest challenge of the season. The fourth week brings a new challenge.
The Patriots will go on the road to face unbeaten and class B top five ranked Depew Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The class C No. 6 ranked Patriots enter the game with a 3-0 record after knocking off No. 4 Coyle last week 54-32. Depew is ranked as high as No. 2 in one poll and No. 5 in another. The Hornets are 2-0 after rolling past Midway 46-0 last week. Depew opened the season with a 76-20 win over Wesleyan Christian of Bartlesville.
Depew is now the biggest challenge for the Patriots. The Hornets finished the season 11-3 last year and were knocked out of the playoffs in the semifinals. The team has six starters back from the semifinal run last year.
The contest could be a shoot-out as Depew as Depew has a high-powered offense and so do the Patriots. SWCS is averaging 53 points a game in their three outings while Depew has scored an average of 61.
“Depew will definitely be the biggest test for us,” said SWCS head coach Trey Cloud, whose team will face their third class B school of the season. “Depew has some big kids, they have speed and they can strike quick. We will have to play well on defense to slow them down.
“They are one of those teams that I don’t know if you can totally stop them, you just have to be able to slow them down,” he said. “We have played well on defense in our first three games and we will see how we do ths week. It will be a test for us.”
The Patriots are also a team that can strike quick and will test the Depew defense. The Patriots will be without one of their weapons, Bryce Brown, who injured an ankle. But, the team is making the adjustments.
“We are a little banged up right now, but we have players that have been able to step in,” Cloud said. “We will make the adjustments and be all right.”
The Depew offense is geared around senior Steve Quinones. He has rushed for over 5,000 yards in his career (2,000 last year), and has had strong start this season leading the team in rushing and scoring. He came into the season with 68 touchdowns to his credit and has added seven more this season.
The Hornets also have a threat at receiver in Tanner Hunt, who caught 38 passes for 742 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
The defense is anchored by linebacker Ty Ralston, who led the team in tackles and sacks. He had 94 takles and 10 sacks last season and has been the team leader in two games so far this year.
The Patriots will counter an offense that has been on fire. Quarterback Sam Webb has thrown for 551 yards and 145 touchdowns. He has also rushed for five scores.
Trevor Kelly is a dual threat for the Patriots running and catching the ball. He has scored seven touchdowns this season. Nathan Hagan give the Patriots another running punch.
“One of the key for us is to control the ball and not let Depew control the possessions,” Cloud said. “We have to be able to limit their plays on offense and not let their good runningback get loose and run wild on us.
“We know we can move the ball and score on people, defense will be the main key,” he said. “We can’t let them control the tempo of the game.”