ELIZABETHTOWN — East Bladen coach Robby Priest has implemented some changes this week on the heels of last week’s 51-13 loss to Wallace-Rose Hill — a loss that took them out of contention for the Four County Conference title.
“There has to be some changes made,” Priest said. “It’s not hot out anymore and these boys should be in good football shape by now, so they have to be expected to go both ways.”
Though he wasn’t specific what those changes will be, Priest is certainly looking for his playmakers to step up on both sides of the ball.
And Friday against Union, he will see if those changes make a difference for East Bladen — now 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
The Spartans come into the contest sporting a 5-4 mark overall and are 2-3 in the conference, and Priest knows they have plenty of talent.
“Oh yes, they have good athletes and speed,” he said. “They do a lot of things well, and we have to be ready for everything.”
On offense, where Union has scored 187 points this season, the Spartans are led by junior running back Chris Nash (694 yards and seven touchdowns on 104 carries), senior running back Shyquan Brunson (397 yards and three touchdowns on 69 carries) and junior running back Tamah Chestnutt (331 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries).
Junior quarterback Dawson Thornton operates an offense that will show everything from a double-wing to a spread to a wishbone. He has thrown for 287 yards and four touchdowns, going 25-of-58 with five interceptions.
On defense, the Spartans operate out of a 50 and are led by junior linebacker Montrell Williams with 89 tackles.
“We’ve got to start playing with a chip on our shoulders,” Priest said. “Get a little swagger back and play mentally tough.”
Priest added that his Eagles have to avoid turnovers and penalties, as well as manage the clock.
East Bladen will be at nearly full strength again this week, with only senior Ty McMillian out with an injury.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.