With the top of the Big Sky Conference tightening up after last week, No. 9 Sherman has put itself in prime position to extend a four-game winning streak with a Homecoming date at 7 p.m. Friday in Moro against Arlington/Condon.
The Honkers/Knights started 4-0, but managed just one second-half touchdown in a 14-6 home loss last week to Dufur.
Arlington, led by quarterback Thomas Evans, running backs Sylas Aamodt, Ben Evans and end Shawn Hauner, averages 39.6 points a game using its ground game to do damage.
Sherman coach Bill Blevins said defensive coordinator Kyle Blagg has a couple of new schemes in place.
The team will continue to work on keeping defensive leverage and tackling fundamentals, Blevins added.
“Offensively, Arlington/Condon does a good job of hitting the hole quickly in the running game,” Blevins said. “Both their offensive line and running backs have some good size. They run their dive play pretty effectively. Our defensive line and linebackers will need to do a great job with controlling their gaps and filling the hole with leverage.”
The Honker/Knight defense has been stout all season, allowing 8.4 points a game with two shutouts.
Sherman poses a different threat altogether with Jacob Justesen, Maverick Winslow, Wyatt Stutzman and Max Martin.
After scoring 21 points a game in their first two games, both losses, the Huskies have averaged 58 points a game in their four-game win streak.
Winslow, who finished with 135 yards rushing on eight carries last week, had three scores and had four catches for 134 yards with three more touchdowns.
Stutzman added 139 yards and two touchdowns, and Justesen completed 5 of 7 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
Justesen added 65 yards rushing and two end zone trips, as the Huskies rushed 27 times for 363 yards, 507 yards of total offense.
“Our offensive linemen, Ryan Asher, Nic Lesh, Jared Fritts, Bradley Moe, and Max Martin, have been doing a great job of allowing our backs to get into open space and create one on one matchups,” Blevins said. “Both Winslow and Stutzman have shown they can run with power and be elusive. The success of the running game has set up the passing game, which gives us some diversity.”
In the past month, the Huskies appear to have hit the proper stride needed to make another playoff run.
The hope is to go a step further than state championship runner-up status, as it accomplished in 2014.
By no means are the Huskies overlooking Arlington/Condon by any stretch.
“This group of kids continues to improve on a weekly basis,” Blevins said. “Each week, we get a little healthier after suffering a lot of injuries the first two games of the season. I am very pleased with our ability to bounce back after a 0-2 start and battle for a playoff spot in a very competitive league. Each week we have gained more confidence with our play on both sides of the ball.”