ELIZABETHTOWN — East Bladen football coach Robby Priest has spent the past few days looking for ways to get his ball carriers not to let go of the ball, and he hopes it sinks in by Friday when the Eagles open the Four County Conference schedule by hosting Midway.
“We’ve got to hang on to the ball; we’ve had too many fumbles,” Priest said. “A couple of the kids have had some extra luggage this week — they’ve been t0ting a football trough the hallways and in class all week.”
During the non-conference schedule, the 2-2 Eagles have had two games where they have lost three fumbles, and Priest doesn’t want to give the 3-1 Raiders any free possessions.
“It’s the first conference game, and everyone wants to get started with a win,” he said. “Midway will be ready.”
The Raiders and East Bladen are almost mirror images of each other on both sides of the ball. The Midway offense, which has scored 148 points this season, is led by quarterback Austin Raynor along with running backs Sha’King Warren and Anthony McCoy.
Tight ends Logan Rogers and Colby Pope also play a big part in the offense with short passes and run blocking.
The Raiders defense, according to Priest, “is speedy and flies around,” and has given up 123 points thus far.
“They are just like us in a lot of ways,” Priest added. “That’s helped us this week because we’ve been using a lot of the same plays to prepare for them and work on our own game plan.”
The coach said his Eagles will need to make a statement Friday night.
“The theme this week has been to rise to the occasion,” he said. “Our young players will need to step up and the seniors have to lead the way.”
Priest said East Bladen will go into Friday’s game healthy.
Kickoff at Lenon Fisher Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.