ST. PAULS —The St. Pauls football team got back in the win column last week defeating Three Rivers Conference opponent West Columbus 56-6. This week will be a stiffer test as it travels to East Bladen looking to stay undefeated in conference play.
St. Pauls (4-1, 2-1 TRC) interim coach Mike Setzer talked about what’s at stake on Friday as they search for a signature win.
“Where we’re trying to move this program to, we have to have a significant win to get some validation for where we’re going,” he said.
The last time Setzer’s group hosted an undefeated conference opponent, they were humbled. South Columbus ran wild on the Bulldogs in the second half. East Bladen (4-1, 3-0 TRC) poses a similar problem as coach Robby Priest implements an effective version of the Wing-T offense that racked up over 400 yards in the win against Fairmont last week.
The leading rushers are Lawson Hester and Eric Chancy. Meanwhile, ReSean Mckoy poses a rushing threat from the receiver position and led the team with 118 yards on the ground against Fairmont.
St. Pauls counters with a formidable offense of its own, anchored by Robeson County’s leading rusher Marqueise Coleman. He’s coming off another dominant performance, gaining 203 yards and a season-high five touchdowns against West Columbus. The junior running back was awarded NCprep.com’s VTO Sports Player of the Week. He’s sucked up 627 rushing yards in the last three weeks.
The turnover battle could be the deciding factor in this heavyweight matchup. The Eagles surrendered four lost fumbles against Fairmont, something Setzer feels like his opportunistic defense can capitalize on this week.
“Our defense usually gives people problems…we love turnovers,” Setzer said.
Kickoff on Friday is at 7:00 p.m.
South Columbus at Fairmont
Fairmont (1-4, 1-2 TRC) is coming off a one-point loss to Three Rivers Conference co-leading East Bladen and now has to host the league’s other top team, South Columbus, on Friday.
Jordan Waters is the primary source of offense for the Golden Tornadoes and had four touchdowns in the loss last week. Coach Kevin Inman is being more creative in using his star athlete as Waters rushed for two touchdowns, threw for one and caught one the last time out.
The team will have to find a way to stop the run, a recurring problem for the group this season, as South Columbus uses a similar Wing-T formation that East Bladen used to give them fits.
Purnell Swett at Jack Britt
The Rams (2-3, 0-3 SAC) are in danger of losing three straight on Friday when they travel to Jack Britt after losing to Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent Pinecrest last week.
The team continues to ride senior Chandler Brayboy who, once again, provided the only points for his squad in the 58-7 loss and led the team with 58 yards receiving. He’s now accounted for the team’s last five touchdowns.
The Buccaneers have already taken care of the other SAC team in the county, beating Lumberton 15-14 in a four-overtime slugfest two weeks ago. Their defense is one of the most stout in the conference and running back Chancellor Johnson will test the Rams defense all four quarters.
Donnell Coley can be reached at 910-416-5165 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Sportsinmyveins.