DUBLIN — If ever there was a need for West Bladen to show it’s “A” game, Friday evening might be the time.
The Knights, now 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Four County Conference, will travel to Clinton for a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the 6-1, 4-0 Dark Horses.
Clinton brings one of the conference’s most potent offenses, with 297 points scored through seven games this season; as well as a defense that has given up just 70 points thus far.
The offense, wish operates primarily out of a straight-up T, centers around junior runningback Ryheem Skinner, who has rushed for 1,061 yards and 11 touchdowns on 85 carries. He has also caught a pair of touchdown passes this season.
But Skinner is far from the only back to be wary of.
The Dark Horses also have senior fullback Rayquon Faison, who has rushed for 371 yards and four touchdowns on 50 carries; as well as runningback Tyion Wright, who has carries the ball 49 times for 414 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Kris Williams directs the Clinton offense and, through the air, has passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns.
An young offensive line of juniors Frank Nelson and Aaron Highsmith, along with sophomores Gage Jackson and Chase Faison, both protect Williams and open holes for the backs.
Over on defense, the Dark Horses will set up in a typical 40 and get plenty of support from junior lineman Prentice Murphy, who has 62 tackles this season, and junior linebacker Isaiah Page, who has 43 tackles.
“They just have a really good team,” West Bladen coach Russell Dove said. “They are ranked No. 6 in the state in Class 2-A, and that’s really saying something.
“When you take something away from their game, they have any number of things to go to,” he added. “We just have to play fearless and have our best game of the season.”
Through their first eight games, the Knights have scored 268 points and allowed 199.
West Bladen is expected to be healthy for Friday’s contest after an injury-free 50-21 homecoming win last week against Pender County.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.