ELIZABETHTOWN — The Eagles of East Bladen will open their 2013 schedule on the road Friday, traveling over to Robeson County for a matchup against an old conference foe in Fairmont.
East Bladen last played the Golden Tornadoes in a non-conference game at the Eagles Nest in September 2010 and put a 46-15 whipping on the visitors.
This time around, however, coach Robby Priest is expecting to see a completely different Fairmont team.
“Oh yeah, they’re big and athletic and have plenty of speed,” he said. “We’ll have our work cut out for us, for sure.”
The Golden Tornadoes operate the offense out of the spread formation, often out of the shotgun, with senior quarterback Jarrod Neal at the controls. But Priest said there are dangerous players all through the offense.
“The quarterback can run or throw, so we’ll have to be ready for anything,” he said. “But they also have good running backs and a really good receiver.”
On defense, Fairmont will offer a 40 front.
“We’ll have to be able to handle their size and athleticism,” Priest said.
For the Eagles, Priest announced this week that his starting quarterback will be Ty McMillian, who narrowly beat out Nikita Owens for the job. Owens, meanwhile, will see a lot of action at safety and some at running back.
“I think Ty will do a good job for us,” Priest said. “And Nikita will get a lot of playing time on both sides of the ball.”
On Friday night, Priest said there are a few keys to beating Fairmont.
“We need to limit the penalties, control the ball and clock, and execute,” he said. “Most of all, we need to limit their big plays — keep them in front of us, because they have athletes who can change the game in 6 seconds.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.