Last week resulted in a 3-1 record, running the season total to 14-4. Clinton stampeded past Hoggard and Union defeated Princeton. Hobbton fell to Wake Christian and Lakewood lost a heartbreaker to Red Springs. This week, Clinton, Lakewood, Midway and Union are all on the road, while Hobbton returns home.
Clinton travels to Burgaw to play the Pender Patriots. The Dark Horses defense bent, but didn’t break last week in their 33-7 win over Hoggard. Pender will not bring nearly the weapons that Hoggard did last week or Northside the week before. Clinton will score in all aspects of the game and come out with a big win in their first conference game.
Final: Clinton 56, Pender 0
Hobbton returns home to play Rosewood on Friday night to start conference play. The Wildcat offense showed a new scheme with a taste of single wing last week against Wake Christian and it seemed to be successful. If the offense can continue to develop this scheme, then they could make the game interesting. The defense, on the other hand, has to stop the Eagles offense. Rosewood’s offense has picked up the pace, averaging 52 points in their last two contests. The Wildcats keep it close for awhile, but Rosewood just has too much in the end.
Final: Rosewood 35, Hobbton 14
Lakewood plays on the road Friday night at Spring Creek. Lakewood’s loss to Red Springs was a close, defensive battle as the Leopards struggled to put points on the board. Spring Creek has not been an offensive power this season and the Lakewood defense should be able to shut them down. If the Leopards can find some offense they should be able to handle the Gators.
Final: Lakewood 27, Spring Creek 18
Midway kicks off conference play on the road at East Bladen. While Midway had the week off last week, the Eagles lost to 4-A Laney 31-7. The Raiders struggled in their last outing against a good Lakewood defense. East Bladen, like Midway, has been able to put points on the board but has given up an average of 26 points a game to opponents. The Raider offense will need to click on all cylinders to keep the game close, and they should do that for a half, but look for the Eagles’ depth to wear down a thin Raider defense.
Final: Midway 20, East Bladen 35
In the Game of the Week, the Union Spartans will travel to play conference foe, West Bladen. Last year, when these two met, West Bladen won a close one, 28-23. According to MaxPreps.com, Union comes into this game ranked number 8 in the 1A class and is 4-0 for the first time since 2004.
In the last two games, the West Bladen defense has allowed 65 points, while the offense only scored 13 points. Union should be able to move the ball on the Knights defense and if the Spartans can take care of the ball and limit mistakes, they could make it a long night for West Bladen. On the other hand, West Bladen has shown the ability to score points in bunches so the Union defense will have to be on their toes and force the Knights into mistakes.
Don’t be surprised if the team with the last possession wins this one. Union has been tested in a similar game against Lakewood earlier in the season and will draw on that experience to avenge last year’s loss in a thrilling game. The Spartans get their first conference win and stay perfect at 5-0.
Final: Union 28, West Bladen 24