DUBLIN — As if having an undefeated Union High team coming to The Castle on Friday to open the Four County Conference schedule isn’t enough, West Bladen coach Todd Pait will be sending his Knights into battle without a number of key players.
Included in that number is starting quarterback Wesley Pidgeon.
“We’re dealing with quite a few injuries, and it’s completely changed what we can do,” Pait said. “Along with Wes, we’ll be without our starting center and an outside linebacker, just for starters.”
But Pait added that the bye week last Friday gave him a chance to move some players up from the jayvee team, and he’s hoping they can fill the gaps.
“The younger player are going to have to step up,” he said.
West Bladen, 2-2, will have its hands full with a much-improved Spartans team that completed its non-conference schedule 4-0.
Union’s offense, which has so far scored at a 37 points per game clip, operates out of a hybrid shotgun/double-wing that Pait said is “a little different.” Quarterback Nadir Goodwin is an adequate passer and ball carrier, and has a solid stable of running back to hand off to. At the top of that list is Donovan Hayes, who has rushed for 324 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries this season.
And Pait also knows the Spartans have their own version of Refrigerator Perry in 5-foot, 11-inch, 380-pound Andrew Brunson, who will line up at fullback (he’s rushed for 78 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries) as well as anchor Union’s 50-set defense at nose guard, where he’s made 26 tackles this season.
“He’s a real load to move, much less bring down,” Pait said.
Also on defense, Union is led by linebacker Tyler Murphy (53 tackles) and defensive end Darius West (37 tackles).
The Spartans are giving up just 10 points per game so far.
“We’ve got to have a complete game,” Pait said. “We’ll need to move the ball and finish drives with points. And, of course, avoid turnovers and penalties.”
Kickoff on Friday is set for 7 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.