By Craig Beilfuss
The Indians (6-3) travel to Beal City to take on the No. 3-ranked Aggies in a Division 8 opening-round game. Beal City is considered one of the favorites to capture the state title this season.
White Cloud will attempt to contain an Aggie offense that averages 40 points per game and only allows its opponents 8.8 points per game.
Beal City is 9-0 and won the Highland Conference Championship with a 7-0 record.
“They (Beal City) look like a very efficient, well coached squad that very much pins us as a David vs Goliath situation, but we know the moral of that story and we plan on giving them everything we have,” said White Cloud coach Joe Gorman. “This is the strongest team I have ever had the privilege of coaching and our entire coaching staff believes in the young men that they can win this game and make a lot of noise in this year’s playoffs.”
The Aggies will have their hands full with White Cloud running back senior Jace Silverthorn.
During the regular season, Silverthorn had 1,721 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns. He rushed for 15, passed for three and had five returns for a touchdown.
“Jace is the guy that you drive by the practice field and he’s out flipping tractor tires to get extra work in,” Gorman said. “He is the stereotype that makes you say ‘if I just had 10 more like him, we’d bring home the title this year.'” Gorman said.
Running the offensive controls for White Cloud is senior quarterback Mason Ruether, who passed for 757 yards and threw 10 touchdown passes.
“His stats were down this year as we were more of a rushing team, but he did an amazing job leading the offense,” said Gorman.
Junior Nate Compeau led the Indians receivers with 553 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Defensively, White Cloud is led by Silverthorn, who had 103 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery, and 2.5 sacks. Adding to the linebacking core was senior Carlos Brown, junior Lloyd Sebright-Johnson and junior Landyn McGowen.
Brown has 88 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and an interception. Sebright-Johnson has 83 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and 4.5 sacks while McGowen has 46 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
The winner of the White Cloud vs. Beal City contest will move on to face the winner of the Carson City-Crystal-Fowler game.