ELIZABETHTOWN — Last week’s 36-28 win over Four County Conference bully Wallace-Rose Hill opened some eyes throughout the rest of the conference, but East Bladen coach Robby Priest says it shouldn’t have.
“To the outside world, we may have surprised Wallace-Rose Hill,” he said. “But internally, and taking nothing away from Wallace-Rose Hill, that’s what we work hard for and prepare for each week.”
And Priest knows, with his Eagles sitting at 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the conference, there’s still a lot of work to do and ground to make up.
On Friday, East Bladen will travel to Rose Hill for a clash with the 3-6, 2-3 Spartans of Union.
The Spartans operate their offense out a variety of sets — including the wishbone, I, Pro I and spread with the shotgun. That offense, which has scored 222 points this season, is led by running back Dezmond Faison, who has rushed for 1,163 yards and 18 touchdowns so far on just 130 carries.
But also, Union has a solid quarterback in Ryan Hall, and running back Shyquan Brunson.
On the defensive side of the ball, where the Spartans have allowed 305 points, Union will show a 5-3 or 4-4. The defense is led by linebackers Cory Smith and Aaron Sanchez, along with cornerback Hagan Thornton.
Despite the game with Union being between a huge conference win over Wallace-Rose Hill — for which the Eagles were named the Team of the Weak by WWAY-TV3 — and a potentially big showdown with West Bladen, Priest said it’s been business as usual at the Eagles Nest.
“The coaches aren’t overlooking Union,” Priest said. “We’re giving that message to the players, and they better be hearing it.”
He added that, to achieve success on Friday against the Spartans, East Bladen will have to execute blocks, make tackles, avoid penalties and hang on the ball.
“We just want to keep getting better,” Priest said. “We’re not where we want to be yet.”