"Coach Lemley has been coaching a long time,'' he said, "and does what he does and coaches what he knows. We're going to go about it as beating the system they're doing and not one or two kids.
"Who's playing quarterback doesn't matter. Defensively, our guys have their assignments and they've got to perform no matter who is quarterback, whether Jake Payne is playing or not. Go out there and do what they do. If we're better, it will work and if we're not, it won't.''
Lemley expects some pressure from Nitro against Stewart.
"I'm sure they want to put some heat on him,'' Lemley said. "It's going to be a learning process for him. He's got some speed and he's got a decent arm. He has to learn his craft and be a quarterback.
"As they always say, right now things are fast for him. There's a lot going on. But once he gets more confident, he'll get better as he goes. He is a threat to run the ball. We're going to run him and we've got a couple of other guys.''
Each team welcomes back a 1,000-yard rusher from last year, so there are no advantages to be held there.
Poca features T.T. Loudin, who rushed for 1,080 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while missing one game, and Nitro leans on sophomore Brayden Underwood, who gained 1,015 yards with six TDs a year ago.
"We haven't thrown the ball all that much in our scrimmages,'' Midkiff said. "Everything was very vanilla what we were doing offensively and defensively. But it was no secret that [Underwood] was our workhorse last year as a freshman. It doesn't change with him being a sophomore. The biggest thing with him has been muscles. He got rid of a lot of that baby fat he had last year because he was a kid, and I think he matured a lot over the winter.''
Midkiff said last Saturday's 47-0 loss to Princeton during the Mountain State Athletic Conference Grid-o-rama didn't faze his players because the Wildcats took it as a learning experience for a certain group of players.
"We did a lot better our first scrimmage,'' Midkiff said. "We didn't go into that [Grid-o-rama] to win anything other than to get specific guys some extra looks. A lot of our guys were out of position. We were seeing guys in certain positions to give them certain looks. So I'm not worried about that at all.
"I don't put much stock in scrimmages. Scrimmages don't matter. Now it matters.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.