Knights preparing for West Columbus

W. Curt Vincent -

DUBLIN — The Knights will show off coach Todd Pait’s new offense and defense to West Bladen fans when they host West Columbus in their home opener on Friday.

West Bladen is coming off a season-opening 35-0 non-conference win at South Robeson, while the Vikings were handed a 44-22 loss last week by South Brunswick.

The two teams faced each other on Aug. 12 in the East Bladen Jamboree, where the Knights easily handled West Columbus in a simulated game. West Bladen’s varsity gave up just three scores to the Vikings, while scoring seven touchdowns themselves.

“I’m sure they will have some things they didn’t show us in the scrimmage — just like we will,” West Bladen coach Todd Pait said. “That’s the smart thing to do.”

Pait said the Vikings’ quarterback, sophomore Shawn Tyson, “is very athletic and can run or throw real well” and operates the offense out of the spread.

“We’ve got to do a good job containing him and get better with our pass coverage,” he added.

On defense, Pait said West Columbus lines up in a typical 4-4, but he expects them to show some variations.

“Their defense flies around,” he said, “so we’ve got to hold our blocks.”

Pait said the Knights have been focusing on getting better at all aspects of the game this week — on both sides of the ball.

“I’m happy with the defense, but you can always get better,” he said. “We’re also looking to improve our bread and butter, the run game. Really, all areas can be improved.

Pait is going to be looking for the Knights to control the clock on Friday.

“We need to push the ball downfield and finish drives,” he said. “Other than that, eliminating penalties and turnovers will be a key — especially the penalties. That hurt us last week.”

Aside from some bumps and bruises, Pait said the Knights should be healthy for Friday — but added that, if someone wasn’t 100 percent, he’d get a look at a younger player if necessary.

“I like our depth, so I don’t want to get anyone hurt before conference games start,” he added.

Kickoff at The Castle is scheduled for 7 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent

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