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EPHRAIM -- No. 16 ranked Snow College (4-1, 3-0) plays No. 6 ranked Glendale Community College (5-0, 3-0) in its homecoming game Saturday in what could be for a conference championship.
While it may be too early to tell just who will walk away with the Western States Football League crown, Snow knows the importance of this matchup.
"You can't push your team at a frenzied level every week or they wear out," said Head Coach Steven Coburn. "We push them hard all the time, but (against) Eastern, Glendale, we push them harder."
"They're ready for the challenge, they're pretty wired," said defensive coordinator Justin Decol. "They'll be ready to go."
Snow will be taking on the 11th best defense in the nation in Glendale, which only gives up an average of 14.2 points per game and only allows just 198 total yards to their opponents.
On September 25th Glendale hit the road against the 4th best offensive and 5th best defensive team in the nation in Arizona Western. Not only that, but Arizona Western was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Glendale won with its defense, 20-9. Arizona Western's only touchdown came off a kickoff return. Western would only have 255 total yards in offense down considerably from their average of 442 yards. Snow says it's because Glendale tries to confuse the offense with their defensive sets.
"Their scheme can give people problems," said offensive coordinator Tyler Hughes. "They're not just a 4-3 (defense), they move all over the place."
"They like to move their three linemen with a lot of linebackers moving around," said starting running back Muka Atiga (Hunter High School). "They move around up and down and left and right."
Hughes knows that since Glendale is such a good defense that they're not going to stop the defense from making big defensive plays. He believes, however, that they can get a win with consistent play and being physical.
"We need to be physical and our fundamentals need to be sharp," said Hughes. "We need to recognize what they're trying to do defensively and be consistent for four quarters."
"It's going to take all eleven," said Atiga. "They got average size (players); the thing that separates them from other defenses is they come hard every play all four quarters."
Snow will also be taking on the ninth best quarterback in the nation in Kevin Yost, who has a 57 percent completion rate. He also has thrown for 1,071 yards over five games with just three interceptions.
"The quarterback is extremely accurate and very good," said Decol, who also mentions Glendale has four solid receivers that Yost can rely on to catch the football.
"They're receivers as a group, top to bottom, are the best receiving group core that we've played since I've been here," said Decol. "The reason they probably aren't the top in stats is because they got four or five good ones. "They are loaded."
Glendale has a running back in Michael Vaughn that is ranked 10th in the conference in total rushing yards, but he is also 9th in receiving. So Decol says the ball is in his hands a lot and he's a big reason their pass game is efficient.
"They're (Glendale) the most balanced (we've played)," said Decol. "They can throw it or run it and they may not be the best in both, but they can do it very well."
Snow knows that it will take a complete game in order to beat a team like Glendale, but believes its team has the ability to win as well.
Snow ranks 11th in the nation in total offense at 412 yards per game; 218 of those yards come on the ground. They have the 9th best rushing team in the nation this year as well.
Snow also comes in ranking 16th in the nation with their overall defense as they only give up 217 yards per game. The defense only gives up 116 yards passing yards per game, which Decol says is Glendale's offensive strength.
"They (Snow players) know what's on the line," says Coburn. "Practice is much more energetic, high level."
"It all starts with the coaches," said Atiga. "The result on Saturday is going to be from the coaches, it comes with the success."
Notes: Atiga sat out Oct. 2 against Mesa due to a sprained ankle, but is probable for Saturday's game against Glendale. Only two teams from the Western States Football League have won the national championship since its creation: Glendale (1988, 2000, 2005) and Snow College (1984)