DUBLIN — The West Bladen Knights will try to snap a two-game losing streak that featured heartbreaking second halves when they open Four County Conference play on the road Friday in Clinton against Union High.
The 1-3 Spartans will give West Bladen a variety of looks on offense, and Knights coach Russell Dove said his team will have to be ready for anything.
“They are a solid football team,” Dove said. “They have good size and they run a lot of variations on offense.
Union’s offense is led by running back Desmond Faison, an all-conference selection in 2012 and Div. I prospect. He’s joined in the backfield by running back Hagan Thornton and quarterback Shyquan Brunson.
“That running back (Faison) really scares us,” Dove said. “He’s fast and big, so we’re really going to have to key on him.”
The Spartans, however, aren’t only a running team. They will line up in the I, Pro-I and spread with the shotgun. And when Brunson drops back to pass, he’ll be looking for wide receiver Tim Smith most of the time.
Union put up 117 points during its non-conference schedule.
On defense, Union will offer primarily a 4-4 look, but will also throw in a few variations. The defense is led by linebacker Aaron Sanchez, along with Faison at linebacker and Thornton at free safety — but the defense has shown to be relatively porous, allowing 142 points through the first four games.
Dove said the bye week for the Knights has helped them get healthy and prepare for the conference schedule.
“If we execute on offense, stay on our blocks and tackle well, we should be OK,” he said. “We need to get the taste of that last loss (a last-minute 24-22 verdict to St. Pauls two weeks ago) out of our mouths. Plus, it’s been two years since we’ve won a conference game, so we’d like to get this one.”