Early this week, Waynesville head coach Rick Vernon preached consistency throughout the team's practice. Wednesday's preparation for Rolla was no different.

Early this week, Waynesville head coach Rick Vernon preached consistency throughout the team's practice. Wednesday's preparation for Rolla was no different.

After the usual conditioning session, practice went on as normal Thursday evening. Tackling drills, seven-on-seven drills, team scrimmages and special teams play were all highlighted as the team worked toward Vernon's idea of consistency.

"We slowed things down today," he said. "We're working on our assignments on both sides of the ball and are working on [footwork]. We backed off on the hitting today and are hoping to going out there and be real physical [Friday]."

Vernon said his team has practiced game-type situations this week to practice consistency.

"Today we did, yesterday we did, and tomorrow we will come out and put those different types of situations against us and let our team respond to that," Vernon said, "Hopefully we will get all three of those games (offense, defense, and special teams) to put together a consistent ballgame."

After practice the coach preached "hard-nosed" football.

"Waynesville has always been known for real hard-nosed football — always been known for its defense," Vernon said. "In the last few years we've got into our zone concepts and that takes away from the hard-nosed game; it's more taking our players and trying to slide them somewhere. For this week, we've went back to hard-nosed football. Rolla likes to run the ball and we like to run the ball so we've got to come be hard-nosed again."

Coach Vernon expects several heavy offensive sets from the winless Rolla team, which has scored a mere 12.8 points per contest in 2012, including two games of scoring only one touchdown. The Rolla offense improved a week ago, however, scoring 25 points in a 29-25 loss to Joplin.

To succeed against what figures to be a tough Rolla defense, Vernon said his team needs to establish itself early, something the team has failed to do this season. In each of the team's three losses, Waynesville has been outscored in the first quarter 46-0 and has scored only 13 points in first half action.

"A big part of the ballgame is coming out early and establishing some things," Vernon said. "It doesn't mean we have to score right off the bat, but we need to move the ball."

In last Friday's 55-21 loss at Parkview, however, field position was a major issue for Waynesville, largely due to the windy conditions. This week Coach Vernon said his team needs quality field position to start offensive drives if his team expects a win.

"All year long we've been fighting from inside the 20 [yard line] about every time we've got the ball, then we're making it tough on our defense by giving [opponents] good field position," he said. "Again, we've just got to be consistent all game long if we're going to win."

Waynesville' s 15 point average per game is not a testament to the team's offensive performance.

Twice this season Waynesville has scored more than 21 points in a game, including a 26-point outing in a week one victory against West Plains. In the other two games, the offense has been unstable, scoring just one touchdown in each game.

The rushing offense has proved its worth this season as Waynesville racked up 270 yards in the win versus West Plains, according to MaxPreps.com. In the three losses, the ground game has been less effective.

The bottom line: Waynesville must be consistent to edge Rolla Friday.

Waynesville (1-3) hosts Rolla (0-4) at 7 p.m. Friday in its fifth game of the season.