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Western Heights to test their confidence against Guthrie

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Western Heights will enter Jelsma Stadium with a few items that have been missing from the program for the last several seasons – confidence and a running game. The Jets have won the same amount of games this season than the previous four seasons combined.

Guthrie running back Idae Alexander currently leads Class 5A in rushing yards (1033) and average (172).

Guthrie running back Idae Alexander currently leads Class 5A in rushing yards (1033) and average (172).

Head coach Justin Mayhew and his coaching staff has brought energy to the Jets team that has not seen since 2008 when they finished with an 8-3 record.

The program managed only six wins in the next five seasons.

Western Heights (4-2, 1-2) started the season 3-0 with wins over U.S. Grant, Capitol Hill and El Reno before falling to Carl Albert, 37-22. The Jets followed that with a win over Southeast and last week fell to Deer Creek (28-9).

A couple of contributing factors have added to the quick turn-around, including eight offensive starters from a year ago and a good mix of speed and power, but the primary factor has been running back Gerard Giles.

Giles, a senior, is averaging 10 yards per carry, with 782 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on just 78 carries. A year ago, he collected 846 yards on the ground.

Guthrie alum Bryan Dutton avoids a Jets rusher from the 2013 meeting at Jelsma Stadium.

Guthrie alum Bryan Dutton avoids a Jets rusher from the 2013 meeting at Jelsma Stadium.

The senior has taken advantage of an offensive line that has eight players with a year-and-a-half of significant varsity playing time, including seniors Phillip Favala and Chris Spencer.

The o-line have aided the Jets running game to 313 yards per game, but will see their tallest challenge to date with the stop the run first mentality of Guthrie.

The BlueJay defense is allowing an average of only 33 yards rushing to their first six opponents.

The Jets defense has proven to be stingy as well by allowing 60 yards on the ground per game and even less through the air (55 yards).

The Guthrie offense will work their running game (averaging 250 yards) led by senior Idae Alexander, who had 193 yards last week on 21 carries against Guymon. Alexander, who leads Class 5A rushing with 172 yards per game, has rushed over 193 yards already four times in six games.

The Jets will try and counter the Jays running game with their 4-2-5 defensive approach. Giles, who will likely play defense in college, has 45 stops from his linebacker position after piling up 73 in 2013.

The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kick and can be heard on Triple Play Sports Radio 105.1 FM and world-wide at Guthrie Sports Page and Guthrie News Page. The pre-game show begins at 6:30.

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Categories: Guthrie Football
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