It was a record 96-degrees on Tuesday afternoon in Kokomo, Indiana, perhaps feeling a little bit hotter with the sun casting over the varsity football practice field. Yet despite the heat, there was a football team putting in the work to get better, putting in the work to prepare for a match-up on Friday night.
“I think we are getting things done in practice this week” said Wildkats Senior Fletcher Miller. “I think we will turn it around, I think it will be a good year.”
Fletcher and the Wildkats (0-3) have had a rough start, but look to kick-start a season plagued by injuries on Friday night in the Buffalo Wild Wings Game of the Week when they host Huntington North (1-2). Kokomo looked as if they could have finished with a victory last Friday night, as the Wildkats lead 13-0 over Muncie Central entering the fourth quarter. Kokomo built the lead off of a 19-yard touchdown run by Luis Ascencio, along with a 67-yard interception return by Senior cornerback Jordan Rawlins. However Muncie Central would rally, scoring all of their points in the fourth for a 19-13 victory.
For Kokomo Head Coach Brett Colby, who is in his seventh year at the helm of the program with a 50-16 record, their were still some positives to take away from week-three.
“Even though we have given up some points, our defense has played pretty well this year,” said Colby. “That’s got to be our bright spot.”
On the defensive side of the ball Kokomo has the ballhawk in Rawlins, who will be playing quarterback as well on the other side of the ball on Friday night, along with the Senior linebacker Fletcher Miller. Miller, who was the State runner-up in the 220 wrestling division in 2013, is a future division-one athlete that has signed to wrestle at Indiana University. On Friday night, those two along with the rest of the Wildkats defense, will have to be prepared for a pass-heavy Huntington North squad.
Last Friday night the Vikings finished with their first win of the season, knocking out Logansport by the final of 50-26. Huntington North Senior quarterback Keenan Leichty completed 30 of 39 passes in the game, finishing with 390 yards and four touchdowns.
“They are going to throw the ball a lot,” said Colby. “Forty to fifty times a game, they run no-huddle, spread, and get after it on the pass routes. They are just real quick timing routes. Their quarterback has a real good arm, he is a first-year starter for them that throws the ball really well, and they have guys that catch it. When they catch it, they can run.”
A victory would be crucial for the Wildkats in terms of their conference season, as a win on Friday would put them at 1-1 and right back in the thick things in the North Central Conference. For the boys sweating it out and practicing in that heat, they are ready to put their best-foot forward and start to turn their season around.
“We got a couple losses,” said Rawlins. “But we are ready to regroup, and get this win on Friday.”