ELIZABETHTOWN — On paper, Friday’s matchup at Lenon Fisher Stadium may seem like David versus Goliath; Class 2-A versus Class 4-A. But in reality, this one may be more like the “Clash of the Titans.”
East Bladen, 3-0 on the young season, will take on the 1-3 Buccaneers of Wilmington Laney in the final non-conference game of the season for both teams.
“We played against Sun Valley the past two years, a Class 3-A school, with mixed results,” East Bladen coach Robby Priest said. “But this one should be a good challenge for us — and there’s a lot of pride to be had if we can get a win against a 4-A school.”
Getting that win won’t be easy.
The Buccaneers have an athletic quarterback in junior Trevon Greene, who can throw or run the ball from Laney’s spread offense that often lines up in the shotgun. When Greene hands off, it’s usually to a stable of running backs that includes senior Jamius Beckett, senior Austin Nalley, junior Khalil Hardy, junior Imeek Watkins and freshman Marcquez Burns. Going through the air, Greene often looks for senior wide receiver Ryan Williams.
“They have a pretty good offensive line, too,” Priest said.
On defense, the Bucs will show a 40 look, but Priest said he’s “pretty sure they will put everybody in the box against us.”
“And the defense has gotten a lot better since we saw them in the pre-season,” Priest added.
But what is expected to challenge the Eagles most literally goes deeper than the personnel on the field for Laney.
“Being a big school, they have a lot of depth,”Priest said. “Where we may go only two deep at most positions, they may go three and four deep. And since they have the pick of so many athletes, what they have has a lot of size and speed. We’ll have our hands full.”
The Buccaneers have played a familiar foe this season in Class 1-A and Four County Conference member Wallace-Rose Hill. That game came in the season-opener for Laney, which took a 42-14 shellacking at the hands of the Bulldogs.
Priest said his Eagles are injury free and should be at full strength Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on Cool 105.3 FM, starting with the pre-game show at 7 p.m. with the Bladen Sports Network crew of Ricky Leinwand, Robert Hester, Dan Allen, Joe Melvin and Ron Daniel.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.