Facing a diverse offense with multiple-challenging weapons, the Carlyle Indians are counting on creating a similar challenge for the Staunton Bulldogs.
Carlyle (9-1) travels to Staunton (6-4) for a Class 2A second-round playoff game at 1 p.m. Saturday and the toughest player to stop will be one of the biggest on the field.
That would be Staunton fullback and linebacker Dustin Scheller (5-foot-9, 225 pounds), who had 90 yards rushing and 18 tackles last week in the Bulldogs' 8-0 road victory over top-seeded Fairfield.
"He's definitely on our radar," Carlyle coach Randy Dooley said. "He's quite a ballplayer. They run multiple formations and they make you get yourself lined up accordingly. We have to read our keys and get 11 men doing their job for 48 minutes."
Offensive diversity program: Scheller has 683 yards rushing and eight touchdowns along with 109 tackles on defense. Staunton quarterback Jake Bruhn has thrown for 829 yards and 12 TDs and his top target is halfback Marcus Sitko, who is also a dangerous punt and kick return man.
"They've got a lot of different weapons and they're pretty diverse," Dooley said of the Bulldogs, who compete in the South Central Conference. "They can do a lot of things. Defensively they're stout up front, they've got some big'uns, so we've got quite a challenge in front of us."
Indians can't be overlooked: Carlyle also has found success running and throwing the ball out of a wide-open spread offense led by quarterback Billy Cummins, receiver Tommy Cummins and running backs Deven Hicks, Logan Zachry and Alex Velazquez.
One good sign for Carlyle could be Staunton's 35-14 home loss to a 3-6 Roxana squad on Oct. 18. But that game was sandwiched in the middle of a three-game losing streak against 10-0 Greenville (63-28) and 9-1 Gillespie (38-8).
Carlyle players to watch: QB Billy Cummins (80-of-146, 1,491 yards, 14 TDs, 5 Ints.); RB Deven Hicks (134 carries, 740 yards, 7 TDs; 16 catches, 346 yards, 4 TDs); WR Tommy Cummins (23 catches, 605 yards, 5 TDs); LB Jordan Rainey (102 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 Int.); DL Brent Johnson (81 tackles, 3 sacks); DB-RB Alex Velazquez (50 tackles; 32 carries, 151 yards, 1 TD); RB-DB Logan Zachry (27 carries, 112 yards, 8 TDs; 15 catches, 154 yards, 2 TDs; 53 tackles).
Staunton players to watch: RB-LB Dustin Scheller (138 carries, 683 yards, 8 TDs; 109 tackles); QB Jake Bruhn (61-of-108, 829 yards, 12 TDs, 5 Ints.); RB-WR Marcus Sitko (74 carries, 445 yards, 3 TDs; 27 catches, 452 yards, 10 TDs); WR Seth Stinnet (16 catches, 220 yards, 3 TDs).