Eagles hope to bounce back against Red Springs

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Eagles of East Bladen have a bad taste they want to wash out of their mouth after last week’s 14-13 loss to South Columbus.

“I’d rather learn some things about our team after a win, but they say you learn more after a loss,” East Bladen coach Robby Priest said this week. “The thing this week (at practice) is that we can’t let the week before beat us this week — and honestly, we had what might be the best week of practice yet.”

All of that could spell doom for Red Springs when the Eagles travel to Robeson County for Friday’s Three Rivers Conference game. Not that East Bladen’s record has been soiled by the Red Devils. Overall, the Eagles are 7-0 against Red Springs, including a 53-26 win in their last meeting in 2014.

“They’re athletic on offense and quick on defense,” Priest said. “So we’re going to have to be focused.”

Red Springs operates out of what Priest calls “an odd kind of offense,” a basic Wing T that has “things we don’t usually see.” Quarterback Denyon McKeithan leads the offense and has had both good and bad take place through the air — he’s 22-for-44 for 569 yards and five touchdowns, but he’s also thrown five interceptions. His favorite target has been Wilkerson Monte, who has eight catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

On the ground, the Red Devils are led by running back Lee McLean, who has gained 661 yards and scored seven touchdowns on 101 carries.

Defensively, Red Springs operates out of a 5-3 and is led by last season’s Robeson County Defensive Player of the Year Jerome Bass at defensive end. He’s made 30 solo tackles and been in on 14 others. He also has four of the team’s nine total sacks. Joining Bass is linebacker Aaron Hunt, who is one of the more active Red Devils.

Red Springs also touts some size on the line, led by 5-10, 315 Jaylen Jacobs and three others at 275 or more.

East Bladen and Red Springs come into Friday’s contest with identical 3-1 overall and 1-1 conference marks.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or cvincent@s24515.p831.sites.pressdns.com.