DWC Football Preview: Top Players, Keys to the Game, Prediction

Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton at Midlakes Thursday, 7 p.m. in Midlakes

Sean Curran
The Evening Tribune
Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton lines up on the goal line versus Pal-Mac in week seven. DWC looks to continue their winning ways with a trip to Midlakes on Thursday evening.

Last Week:   

Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton is coming off of a huge 28-0 win over Pal-Mac in which they secured a home playoff spot in Dansville, improving to 5-2 in the process. Midlakes is also coming off of a key win, keeping their playoff hopes barely alive with a 27-13 win over Mynderse in week seven.

Dan-Way-Co Football: A Homecoming shutout and a 28-0 win over Pal-Mac

What we learned in Week 7 of high school football: The latest on Hornell, C-G, DWC

Last Matchup:

This is the first meeting between the combined programs, but Midlakes did face off with Wayland-Cohocton all the way back in 2008. In that week seven matchup, the Screaming Eagles came out on top with a narrow 12-0 win in Cohocton.

Season Stats: 

DWC O: 28.0 ppg  

DWC D: 16.6 ppg

Screaming Eagles O: 17.7 ppg  

Screaming Eagles D: 22.1 ppg  

Players to Watch:   

Dan-Way-Co – Collin Mehlenbecher (RB/DB), Nick Belanger (QB/DB), Ben Teed (RB/LB), Ryan Belanger (OL/DL), Evan Pruonto (RB/DB), Holdyn Freeman (OL/DL), Benjamin Sick (OL/DL). 

Midlakes – Ricky Wright (QB/DE), Kaiden Larsen (RB/CB), Noah Frere (WB/DB), Ryan Peck (RB/LB), Matthew Jansen (OL/DL), Ethan Bailey (OL/DL), Anthony Coopere (WR/DB).

3 Keys to Watch:  

1. Midlakes running back Kaiden Larsen is an animal out of the backfield. He is fast, strong and extremely elusive, making him a tough stop for even the top defenses in Section V. But Larsen has not faced a front four like Dan-Way-Co yet, and it will be an incredibly fascinating matchup that will surely determine a huge portion of this contest.

2. DWC has a runner to match in Evan Pruonto, but also has several different options out of the backfield. Midlakes has a malleable defense, and watching them bend to cover all of Dan-Way-Co’s options will determine just how close this game ends up being.

3. The DWC defense has had two absolutely dominant weeks in a row, scoring 16 points directly while giving up just 12 points total, meaning that the DWC defense has put together two straight wins without involving the offense at all. If DWC can continue to put up numbers like this on defense, they will win this game going away.

Prediction:  

Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton has been putting the pieces together a little bit better in each new week this season. I view this as a major tune-up for sectionals, and I expect DWC to come out like a well-oiled machine in a game that will serve as a chance to perfect things before a big home playoff game. DWC 38, Midlakes 8.