ELIZABETHTOWN — On the heels of last week’s come-from-behind 42-38 win over Fairmont at Lenon Fisher Stadium, here comes St. Pauls — another spread offense team that hopes to challenge East Bladen’s defense. And the Bulldogs are hot right now.
After losing its first two games of the season, both non-conference tilts, St. Pauls has since won four of its first five Three Rivers Conference games. It’s lone loss came against undefeated conference leader South Columbus.
“We’ll have our hands full again this week,” East Bladen coach Robby Priest said. “We’ll need to play with a little sense of urgency.
“Not that we did anything bad last week (against Fairmont), but we’ve been working on putting a team away when we have them down,” he added. “We can’t let a team get any air once we have the lead. That nearly cost us (last week).”
St. Pauls has plenty of firepower on offense, led by quarterback Noah Wheeler, who can chew up yardage on the ground or through the air. His two favorite targets are wide receivers Dakota Oxendine and Caleb Inman, while running back Marquise Coleman will see a bulk of the handoffs.
“Their quarterback is good and their receivers can go get it,” Priest said. “They also have a good line.”
On defense, the Bulldogs will operate out of a 40 front and are led by linebackers Manny Rojas and Keraun McCornick.
“This defense really flies around and gets to the ball,” Priest said. “They are a well-coached team.”
St. Pauls, which is coming off a 48-6 thumping of winless West Columbus last week, is 1-5 all-time against the Eagles — including a non-conference 42-28 loss in September 2016.
East Bladen is 6-1 overall, 4-1 in the conference.
Kickoff in St. Pauls is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.