Blackwell faces tough road game; Highland seeks 2nd straight W

With their annual show-down still two weeks away, Nolan County’s two six-man schools are both coming off wins as they take to the road this Friday.It’s become a familiar feeling for Blackwell, which is off to a 4-0 start after last week’s 45-0 rout of Trent. But the Hornets, who are ranked No. 11 in the state in Division II Six-Man, could face their big-gest challenge yet. Blanket is 3-1 and ranked No. 15, and may have a little extra motivation after suffering a 52-6 loss to May, which is currently ranked No. 7 in Six-Man Division I.Blanket won last year’s game 52-44 in Blackwell, so the Hornets would no doubt like to return the favor. They were merciless against Trent, needing just two quarters to win by the 45-point mercy rule while pitching their second shut-out in four games. It was also Blackwell’s first game at home. But its back on the road this week. “It was nice to be at home for a change,” said Blackwell coach Clint Low-ry. “But we’ve traveled well. (Blanket) is not the same team as last year, but I think the kids are looking forward to playing them. It will be a good test.”Highland (1-3) ended a three-game losing streak with a 56-42 win last week over previously-unbeaten Sands, pulling away with a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to break a 42-42 tie. The Hornets will try to make it two straight Friday when they visit 2-2 Trent.“It felt good to get a win, but it’s one game,” said Highland coach Jeff Shel-ton. “But it was satisfying to see the kids close out a game and enjoy a win.“Their effort hasn’t been an issue and their commit-ment hasn’t been an issue,” he said. “They want to get better, and they continue to do so.”Three of Highland’s four games have been decided by 14 points or less. “Close ball games force our kids to make decisions under pressure,” Shelton said. “That’s something you can’t simulate in practice. Our team is getting inval-uable experience at multi-ple positions.”Shelton said he expects Trent, which has lost two straight after a 2-0 start, to put up a good fight.“They’re a big, strong, physical ballclub who hasn’t been able to find much consistency due to personnel changes,” he said. “I expect a very phy-sical ball game from a good team. I expect their ‘A’ game.”