DUBLIN — West Bladen faces perhaps its biggest challenge of the season on Friday when the Knights welcome the South Columbus Stallions to The Castle for a Three Rivers Conference clash.
The visit to Dublin will be a homecoming of sorts for Stallions head coach Russell Dove, who spent three season as head coach at West Bladen and a number of season before that as assistant coach.
South Columbus comes into the game with a 9-0 mark overall and 7-0 in the conference, while West Bladen is now 4-5 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
“It’s going to be a big challenge,” said Knights coach Kris Williams. “But we have to take each game one at a time — and when you play teams like South Columbus, Whiteville or East Bladen, all we can do is give it our best shot.”
The Stallions have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.
On offense, the wing-T is operated by quarterback Robby Spencer, who has a solid fullback in Seth Buffkin and running back in Aveon Bellamy behind him. Through the air, wide receiver Trequan Bellamy is a likely target. The Stallions have scored 340 points over their nine games this season.
On defense, the 53 set is anchored by Buffkin at linebacker, but the all-junior line carries plenty of beef — with 6-2, 320 Dalton Worley; 6-3, 310 Evan Hardee; 6-5, 300 Ty Worley; and 6-1, 290 Josiah Small. South Columbus has allowed just 128 points this season.
Williams said the Knights will focus on West Bladen football as best it can throughout the game.
“We need to control what we can control,” he said, “and we’ve talked about things like penalties, fumbles and behavior.”
Williams also said this game has a more special meaning for him.
“I enjoyed working with Russell when he was here,” he said. “He’s like a brother to me, and brothers always like competing against each other — but he’s undefeated for a reason.”
West Bladen is 0-4 against South Columbus all-time, including a 48-7 loss in September 2012.
Kickoff on Friday is set for 7 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.