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Gridiron Preview: Battle of the Maroon Unbeatens

The stage is set for one the biggest games in the Black Diamond Conference this season as the 2-0 Carmi-White County Bulldogs are on the road to face the 2-0 Sesser-Valier Red Devils. CWC is coming off a dominant 58-6 win over Vienna-Goreville, while Sesser took down Fairfield in the final minutes last Friday, 15-12.

The main difference between these two teams so far this year has been their competition. Both teams have defeated Vienna-Goreville by 40+ points, but Sesser-Valier’s 3-point victory over Fairfield last week stands out compared to CWC’s 46-6 win over Hamilton County in Week 1. The Red Devils rushed for 192 yards and handed Fairfield just their second conference loss in six seasons.

Dezmond Malone has been the leading rusher in a 3-headed backfield for the Red Devils. He’s carried the ball 11 times for 156 yards and 2 scores, but the Mules were able to hold him in check last week with only 37 yards. That is when Brock Chelf took over, punishing the Mules for 115 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. BDC fans, players and parents who have played against Sesser-Valier in the last decade are familiar with the last name Gunter. Well, there is another Gunter running the ball for the Red Devils this year, Gabe Gunter. He’s rushed for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns on 12 carries this season.

Sesser-Valier can throw it when they need to. Carson Hoffard is their senior quarterback, and he’s been solid in his limited passing attempts so far in 2022. Hoffard has thrown for 99 yards and one touchdown in 2 games.

Despite Carmi-White County’s lackluster opponents in the first two weeks of the season, you can’t ignore the dominance that Bulldogs have displayed on both sides of the football. The Dogs have rushed for a total of 600 yards in two games, while only allowing 77 yards on the ground.

Isaac King has carried the ball 32 times for 310 yards and 5 touchdowns. Draxtyn Aud and Andrew Dodgson have added some nice counterpunches behind King. Aud has carried it 18 times for 154 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns, he also caught a touchdown pass last week. Dodgson has rushed for 99 yards and 2 scores in just 6 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown run last week.

“This is the first team that we’ve played who is as athletic as us or better,” said CWC Head Coach Kurt Simon. “Whoever can win the turnover battle, is going to have a really good chance to win the game.”

“We hope we can do what we do best, and that is run the football,” Simon added. “If we can run the football and control the clock, it will be our best defense.”

The Bulldogs have not beaten Sesser-Valier since 2014.

Kickoff is set for 7 PM, the pre-game show will begin at 6:45 PM. You can listen to the game live on 97.3 FM WRUL and online at, you can also watch the game live on the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel.


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