The Waynesville football team has had a rough stretch in recent history. Coming into the 2018 season, the Tigers had gone two straight seasons without a win. After losing the first three games of the season, Waynesville has now won two straight, just in time for Rolla (4-1) to come into town for Homecoming.
Waynesville's biggest threat this season has been running back Sheen Butler-Lawson. Last week against Springfield Central Butler-Lawson ran for 139 yards and four scores and he will be Rolla's number one priority on the defensive side of the ball.
"Last year, he got rolling as a sophomore and kind of did some things and made some plays against us. He's a big, athletic kid, always been a back," said Rolla head coach Jon Franks. "They do a nice job."
In the passing game, Waynesville has been running a two quarterback system with Aaron Emparato and Michael Lewis. Lewis has particularly stood out to Franks on film.
"One of them is more, I don't wanna say more dynamic, but runs around a little bit more, they use the play action game a little bit more with him. He tries to create some stuff," said coach Franks. "He played in the jamboree against our JV was pretty electric, he's the one who got them for a couple of touchdowns. He's got some ability."
For Rolla, the key is just going to be to execute. Their running game has been electric behind Trey Quick, who has already rushed for 1051 yards and nine touchdowns on the season and he looks to continue that pace on Friday night.
"Any time you go into a game, it's about execution. When you have a back like Trey and a receiving corps like we have, we just have to execute," said coach Franks. "The games we execute, we play well. Coach Shockley and the offensive staff has done a great job of getting everyone prepared. Obviously we've put up a lot of points this year."
The Bulldogs will need to make sure they're able to stay locked in for four quarters on Friday night. One of their biggest downfalls last week against Kickapoo was losing some focus after taking a quick 27-0 lead. With the excitement that Waynesville will have surrounding Homecoming and breaking their losing streak, Rolla will have to maintain their focus for four quarters.
"I wish I knew. If I did I would be a multi-gazillioniare with how to get teenagers prepared every week," said coach Franks on how to help his team maintain focus. "All you can do is try to prepare the same and treat all the teams the same. That's what we've done with our guys and our guys have done a nice job this year. Obviously, we didn't play well week two, we've had a quarter here and there that we've not played well, but that's teenagers. That's our job as a coaching staff to find the adjustment quickly and get them pulled out of what they're doing and get them straightened out."