DUBLIN — The Knights of West Bladen (5-3, 3-1) have earned a number of preseason goals, as well as set some unexpected records thus far. But while things may be going comparably peachy through eight games, coach Russell Dove realizes that the final three games of the regular season could make or break everything the Knights have worked for.
“The reality of it is, if we can get the next two games, we’d be set up for a No. 1 seed in the 2-A portion of the conference,” Dove said. “But we really can’t start looking ahead.”
At least, he said, no further than Friday, when that all-important three-game run begins at Clinton against the Dark Horses.
“We’re going to have to take our ‘A’ game,” Dove said. “It’s a typical Clinton team we’ll be facing, one that gets better every week. Their line hits you and doesn’t let go.”
The Dark Horses (5-2, 4-0) operate the offense out of a variety of formations, and are led by fullback Silas Herring and tight end Jacob Smith. Although Clinton has only scored 147 points this season, Dove said Clinton can hurt you from any position.
“Everyone does their job, and we can ignore anyone,” he said.
If the Dark Horses excel anywhere, it’s on defense, where they have allowed just 109 points through seven games.
“They are solid on defense,” Dove said. “There are a lot of good athletes there.”
Standing out to Dove is the play of linebacker Khari Fryer and tight end Kenneth Ford, who Dove says “can change a game in a heartbeat.”
Key for the Knights, as it is every week, will be doing the basics well.
“Talent-wise, I think we match up with them, but we’ll have to play just about mistake free,” Dove said. “The offensive line has to stay on blocks and we may have to throw a little more; defensively, we’ll really have to step it up and tackle well.”