Prep Football

Stopping Reno top priority for Clark County

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 10, 2017 12:01 am

KAHOKA, Mo. -- Chayson Kleine's priority Saturday will be stopping North Callaway's Adam Reno.

The Clark County linebacker, however, will need assistance doing that. Kleine saw that while watching film earlier in the week.

"(North Callaway) runs quite a bit up the middle," Kleine said. "That won't be a problem for our inside linebackers like me. He's really good at hitting the hole with a lot of strength, and it's going to take multiple guys to take him down."

The schedule Clark County faced leading up Saturday's Class 2 quarterfinal game has the Indians prepared.

Kleine and the rest of the defense spent the entire season trying to stop Clarence Cannon Conference running backs like Palmyra's Peyton Plunkett and Jarom Alexander, Monore City's Zach Osborn and Cole Pennewell, South Shelby's Brock Wood and Cody McKenzie along with Macon's Kevin Edwards.

"(Reno) is going to be kind of like Plunkett," Kleine said of the 6-foot, 215-pound senior running back. "It won't be different from any other back."

No other back Clark County has seen has the stats like Reno.

In 11 games this season, Reno has rushed for 2,003 yards and 31 touchdowns for the seventh-ranked Thunderbirds. Reno is averaging 182.1 yards per game.

In three playoff games, he's amassed 556 yards and 12 touchdowns, which includes a six-touchdown game in a 46-8 victory over Hallsville in the district semifinals. Reno had a season-high 337 rushing yards on 28 carries against Bowling Green.

"He's obviously a really, really good back," Clark County coach Ethan Allen said. "He'll be hard to tackle. We're going to have to bring our A game for us to be able to stop their running game and stop him."

That's been the focus in practice this week.

The Indians' coaching staff has the team working on tackling drills with the emphasis of getting multiple tacklers on the ballcarrier. They realize that's the only way to bring Reno to the ground.

"We have to wrap up and get him to the ground," Allen said. "We can't allow him to get more yards after the initial hit. He's not a guy we're going to be able to go chest-to-chest with. He will win that battle every single time."

Clark County has gotten a preview of that during practice as Logan Arnold has taken the duty of imitating Reno on the scout team offense.

"The scout team has done a really good job giving us a look at it," Kleine said. "It's hard to replicate that, but they've done a nice job."

Kleine says two areas will help Clark County neutralize Reno. The first will be making sure the defense can get off the field on third down. The second is making sure the offense can use as much of the clock as possible to get the football out of Reno's hands.

Clark County's defense is confident it can handle that as the Indians have forced nine turnovers in the last two games.

"It's going to be big to seize those opportunities and get tackles," Kleine said. "But we also have to look at if that if they do get a first down we can't get demoralized.

"We just have to go and do it again."