The Bobcats, sporting a 4-1 record, are allowing just 10 points per contest. They also will be playing their first region game when they visit the Colonels, who have surrendered an average of 31 points.
The two teams have put up similar numbers offensively. The Bobcats have scored an average 22 points per evening while Cass has given up 25 points.
“They’re obviously a good defensive team because they are not giving up a lot of points,” head coach Rick Casko said. “Regardless of who you play, it’s important if you’re not giving up many points.”
Cass enters the evening after sustaining three straight losses and may not be in the best of moods, having just lost its first region matchup on Friday night in bowing to Pickens, 43-27.
The Colonels made it easier for the Dragons by turning the ball over five times. They are looking for ways to reduce those turnover numbers in time to turn their season around.
Gilmer, in contrast, has not been so generous.
“They have a ball-control offense and don’t turn the ball over,” Casko said. “They have a sound running attack. They pass but they are run-oriented. That’s what they do best.”
The Cass coach said one of the keys to the Gilmer attack is its fullback. “He’s a very good player, weighs about 230. They also throw the ball effectively but not regularly.”
He said Gilmer’s defense is well coached and that’s one of the reasons they have been stingy on the scoreboard.
“They play hard and really hustle to the ball,” Casko said. “They are 4-1 and are used to winning.”
But Casko said Cass has a lot riding on the game against Gilmer and needs to win its first region game.
“We’re still alive in the region, but we have to win this week,” he said.
Even though Gilmer is 4-1 on the season, the Colonels should have no lack of confidence, despite their 2-4 record.
The four teams that have beaten Cass have a combined 18-3 record.
The Cass losses were to Cartersville, No. 2-ranked AAA team in the state and still sporting a perfect record, undefeated Northwest Whitfield, Pickens County, which is 4-1 with its sole loss to Northwest Whitfield, and Dalton, whose losses are to state power Calhoun and an overtime loss to a solid Ringgold team.
“It’s not like we’re competing against teams that aren’t winning,” Casko acknowledged. “We’ve played some pretty good teams. Our kids are still trying. They’re still fighting and scrapping and if we can put it together, we’ll start getting the results we want.”
Casko said Cass has hurt its case with turnovers, noting the Colonels were very much in several games until the turnovers buried their chance of winning.
He said finding the answer has been frustrating his coaching staff and team all season.
“We don’t turn the ball over in practice,” he said. “They are about the game. It’s high energy when the games start and a lot of people are just flying around.”
He said the coaching staff has been looking for ways to curb the team’s generosity.
Casko said even through the losses his team has left its game on the field.
“The kids are still fighting,” he said.
Casko said the Colonels are “as alive as anyone” so far as the playoffs are concerned.
The two teams have faced one common foe, Dalton. The Bobcats were on the short side of a 31-0 defeat at the hands of Dalton on Sept. 20. Dalton took advantage of Cass turnovers and walked away with a 30-17 victory on Sept. 27.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.