With a 3-0 record, Sherman’s not the usual homecoming patsy
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Sept. 21, 2006 - Sherman is not exactly the usual homecoming patsy.

The Bearcats, who visit Gerald Prim Stadium tomorrow for Sulphur Springs' homecoming, are 3-0 and coming off a four-touchdown victory over Terrell.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., with the introduction of the homecoming court and coronation of the queen to get underway at 6:48 p.m.

Many schools schedule easily beatable teams for homecoming. That's not the case for SSHS head coach Greg Owens.

Sherman, which went to the playoffs last year despite a 3-8 record, has looked progressively better as the young season has gone on. The Bearcats have beaten Dallas Hillcrest 18-14, Greenville 27-21, and Terrell 33-7.

"There's a challenge there with us," said Owens. "We're going to have to be on. Sherman's a well-balanced team - they're good on offense and defense."

Owens has been mostly impressed with Sherman's front seven on defense. They were a key reason the Bearcats held Terrell to just three first downs and only 38 yards rushing last week. Terrell also had zero yards passing on 10 attempts.

"I'm very impressed with the defensive line and linebackers," Owens explained. "Their D-line is extremely active and they get after it. They bring it, now. Their linebackers are fast and they can run.

"They kind of back off of you in the secondary just a little bit, but they're fast. Their whole defense can run."

Terrell's only TD came on a 70-yard fumble return. Sherman has been susceptible to turnovers, coughing up the ball three times in its last game. But, the Bearcats have overcome that with a well-rounded rushing attack.

Sherman runs the ball out of a spread formation, similar to the tactic of Denison, who Sulphur Springs faced last week. The Bearcats have a good running back in sophomore Waymon James (5-8, 165) and a solid quarterback in Matt Rome (6-0, 175), but lack the explosiveness of Denison's quarterback.

James has 369 yards rushing and three TDs in three games, about half of that total coming against Terrell.

"They've got a good running back - the quarterback's pretty good, but he's not the speedster we had to face last week," Owens said. "I hope that helps us.

"Sherman's philosophy is to spread you out and run the football on you. They try to put a body on a body up front, so we've got to get more bodies in there than they can deal with."

To help clog up the running lanes, Owens said the Wildcats are tweaking their schemes and personnel. He wants to cut down on the 6.5 yards per running attempt that teams are averaging against the Wildcats.

Offensively, the Wildcats will face the best defense they have seen since their opening game encounter with McKinney.

"I still think we can move the football, but we're going to have to be on with it," Owens said. "We might break any big long ones on them, but we're going to have to be consistent and wear them down."

Notes: The Wildcat freshmen and JV will travel to Sherman on Thursday. The freshmen "B" game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. ... Senior linebacker/running back Stefan Petty will be in uniform for the Wildcats, but safety Colby Mills (ankle) and linebacker Clay Wilks (knee) are not expected to suit up.

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