RED SPRINGS — The rainfall at Red Springs picked up progressively as the football team’s practice went on Wednesday, and as the rain came down while the team assembled before breaking down practice, coach Lawrence Ches told his team of the importance of Friday’s game.
“This is conference championship Friday,” Ches said to his team as it prepares to take on Whiteville on Friday at home.
That message isn’t just for this week, however, it’s a way of thinking for the Red Devils (4-1, 2-1 TRC) in the second year of Ches’ tenure as head coach.
“We try to preach the championship mentality no matter who the opponent is, no matter what,” Ches said. “It’s a cultural model for the program.”
Of course, the mantra still is true as the Red Devils continue to fight to stay a game back of South Columbus, who handed Red Springs a loss to open Three Rivers Conference play. Every week from here on out carries the conference championship life for Red Springs.
After two straight games against two of the weaker teams in the conference, the Red Devils take on a Whiteville (4-1, 2-1 TRC) program that is coming off a share of the conference championship last season and has a new coaching staff with Jarrett Price taking over.
“They have fantastic athleticism and they have pedigree coaches,” Ches said. “Running the Wing-T at Whiteville is a scary proposition. They do some other stuff too.”
“It’s still Whiteville and they have a strong pedigree of being strong defensively.”
Leading the Wolfpack this season is a slew of juniors on offense, starting with athletic quarterback Ty Moss. The junior signal caller has accounted for 14 total touchdowns and more than 525 yards of total offense. Junior running back Jvonte Davis has rushed for 652 yards and six touchdowns this season.
“The quarterback is such a good athlete that they scheme some ways for him to get the ball in space,” Ches said. “They spread it out a little bit, but their base offense is a Wing-T that’s unlike the traditional like South Columbus.”
The Red Devils are coming off a 56-6 win over South Robeson where its offensive and defensive lines set the tone as the offensive amassed 355 yards on the ground and held the Mustangs to 239 yards of total offense and the one score.
“Alignment, assignment and intensity, that’s the keys,” Ches said. “We’ve just got to fly around and be the Red Swarm.”
Red Springs is 0-14 all-time against Whiteville. The last time the two teams met in Red Springs, the Wolfpack won with a late turnover that they converted to a game-winning field goal in the 23-22 victory.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.