"This week is different from last week,'' Cromley said. "Magnolia is a team built on speed and last week it was power, big linemen and power plays at you all the time.
"We need to contain the speed they have. We've faced quicker spread teams, but not as quick as these guys. We're pretty fast ourselves. We've taken some of our offensive guys and tried to contain them in practice.''
Magnolia also takes on a style that it has rarely seen this year in Wahama's ground-heavy attack.
"A lot of the teams we play are either spread teams or like to run out of the I,'' said Blue Eagles coach Mark Batton. "We don't play many teams with a lot of motion and misdirection. We really had to go back and look at teams we've played in the past and see what we've done against them.''
The Blue Eagles' ball-hawking defense has only allowed an opponent to score 21 points twice this season.
Magnolia freshman defensive end Kyle Ritz and junior linebacker Kage Rhode lead the way with 12 and 10 sacks, respectively. Junior defensive back Jacob Brill, senior defensive back Gage Deem and Ritz also have three fumble recoveries with Brill returning one for a score. Senior defensive back Tanner Hanna has five interceptions, returning one for a TD, while Deem has two picks.
Magnolia will no doubt need another stout defensive effort against Wahama.
"Just breaking down their film and going over [Wahama's] scores and stats,'' Batton said, "they've put up big numbers and very few teams have been able to stop them.
"They do a lot of things very well. These guys are playoff-tested. The guys have come out and played hard every week. Just hope they're up for another task.''
Assistant sports editor Rick Ryan contributed to this report. Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.