DUBLIN — West Bladen coach Kris Williams would love to see his Knights take care of business Friday when they travel to St. Pauls for a Three Rivers Conference football clash. If they do, West Bladen would even the all-time series with the Bulldogs at 7-7 as well as all but wrap up a Class 2-A state playoff berth with five wins.
So that makes this one big, right?
“They’re all big,” Williams said this week. “But with just three games left, we’d like to get this one to help our playoff chances.”
To do that, the Knights will have to find ways to slow down a St. Pauls team that gave conference power East Bladen all it could handle last week before falling, 34-28, in the last 15 seconds.
The Bulldogs, now 4-4 overall and 4-2 in the conference,operate the offense out of a spread formation, but is balanced between the run and pass. Quarterback Noah Wheeler is good with the legs or arm, has a solid back in Marquise Coleman and at least two wide receivers in Dakota Oxendine and Caleb Inman as targets through the air.
St. Pauls is averaging more than 32 points per game this season.
On defense, the Bulldogs will line up in a 40 set with an athletic set of linebackers led by Manny Rojas and Keraun McCormick. St.Pauls has allowed just over 28 points per game thus far.
“They are a very athletic team,” Williams said. “We’re hoping to see a lot of intensity for 48 minutes and good execution on both sides of the ball.”
West Bladen will counter with the conference’s leading rusher in senior B.J. Drake, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark last week with 218 yards in a 49-28 win against West Columbus. Through eight games, Drake has 1,137 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Kickoff is set for Friday at 7 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.