The Eagles (0-5, 0-2 13-2A) will host Florence (1-4, 0-2) at 7:30 p.m. today and there’s no predicting what will happen.

While Florence has put up only 37 total points this year, it has a deep rushing committee that racks up yardage.

Salado coach Brent Graham highlighted his rush defense as a weakness, but said he has been game-planning to bolster performances.

Buffaloes coach Paul Smith cited the playmaking ability of quarterback Jo Jo Ramirez, who carried 23 times for 72 yards in Florence’s 48-6 loss to Troy last week.

“He’s a senior, he’s invested,” Smith said. “He doesn’t come off the field. He plays offense, defense, special teams, so he’s going to have to put it on his back and play.”

Tyler Salis, Wyatt Odom, Dillon Juarrez and Fernando Ortiz added to the Buffs’ 224 total rushing yards.

Junior running back Lendell Freeman, who started a few games this year, was injured last week and will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game, Smith said.

So far this season, Florence has used a heavy ground attack to keep the clock running and keep opposing offenses off the field.

“They’re big up front,” Graham said. “Their offensive line is huge and we’re going to be oversized, but it’s not like we haven’t been oversized all year long. So we’re going to do what we do. And if we play Salado football the way we’re supposed to play, we’re going to be fine.”

In contrast with Florence, Salado is an aerial team. Quarterback McLane Carter distributes well among his receivers. He completed 32 of 53 passes for 387 yards in the Eagles’ 41-31 loss to Marlin last week.

Salado’s defensive struggles are somewhat deceiving, as they have played three 3A teams this year, Smith said, and they maintain a high offensive tempo.

“Salado is a very good offensive football team,” Smith said. “They throw the ball well, they catch the ball well. ... We got to find the ability to move the ball.”

Contact Brian Bradley at or (254) 501-7567

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