Triad running back Hayden Simpson (27) picks up yardage against Fairbanks. Among the Panther players pictured are Joe Kinsley (54), Brice Phelps (12) and Bryson Tillman (60). The Cardinals will play at West Jefferson this evening. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The Triad Cardinals face another tough task this evening when they travel to play at state-ranked West Jefferson.
The Roughriders are ranked fifth in this week’s Associated Press Division VI poll.
West Jefferson (7-0 overall and 2-0 in the Ohio Heritage Conference) is a pass-heavy team.
Quarterback Tyler Buescher leads the OHC in passing yardage with 2,179.
He has completed 162 passes in 223 attempts (72.6%).
The Rider signal-caller has found receivers for 21 touchdowns and has suffered only three interceptions.
Speaking of receivers, Adam Fry and MJ Book have both latched onto 38 passes.
Book is averaging 20.9 yards per catch (794 yards) and has caught 13 TD passes.
Fry’s receptions have covered 380 yards.
Book and Fry are listed as the first and fourth-best receivers in the conference.
Hayden Salyer has caught 32 passes for 367 yards.
West Jefferson is the top passing squad in the conference and is averaging 311 yards per game through the air.
While the Roughriders favor the passing game, the Cardinal defense must not let its guard down against the ground attack.
Salyer has carried the ball 113 times for 672 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground.
The Cardinals (2-5 overall and 0-2 in the OHC) are led by running back Hayden Simpson.
Through seven games, Simpson is the third-best rusher in the circuit.
He’s picked up 781 yards on 120 carries.
Quarterback Derek Bails has competed 54% of his passes (54-for-100) for 615 yards.