RIDGE SPRING-MONETTA (3-3) AT BLACKVILLE-HILDA (3-3)
Last time they playedBlackville-Hilda defeated Ridge Spring-Monetta 34-6 last year.
Players to watchRidge Spring-Monetta
• Reggie Preston, QB. Preston played well in his last game two weeks ago, completing eight of 14 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. It’s likely that RS-M will need him to play that well, if not better, this week.
• A.J. Hopkins, RB. Hopkins, along with Travious Wigfall, Wesley Bright, Mike Jones and Raheem Caldwell will all get carries in the Trojans’ spread the wealth mentality.
• Mello Harris, MLB. Harris will replace Tripp Padgett, who is done for the year with ACL and meniscus surgery. The entire linebacking corps, which also includes Bright and Wigfall, will have to step up against the Fighting Hawks’ Wishbone offense.
Blackville-Hilda• Christian Sanders, RB. Sanders is the top rusher for the Hawks out of their Wishbone offense, though they, like RS-M, use a plethora of backs, including Arnius Williams, Favion Davis and Jacoby Archer.
• Ricky Williams, DL. The 6-foot-3, 310 pound sophomore is a big time pass rusher for the Hawks and a tough matchup for the Trojans.
• Darren Jones, QB/DB. Jones isn’t asked to pass much in this offense, but he is still capable of making throws. He is also a ball-hawking defensive back.
What this meansBoth teams come in with identical records, though Blackville-Hilda has one more win in the region. The game’s importance isn’t lost on Ridge Spring-Monetta head coach Heath Corley.
“This is another statement game,” he said. “It’s a chance to beat a well-known, historically great team. Coach Berry has done a great job over there for a long time, and he’s built that program up where kids know the systems in their sleep.”
The winner of this game will also be in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game.
Keys to the gameFor the Trojans, it will be another week of trying to withstand the storm. Blackville-Hilda is deep and they love to run the ball, but they also go for big plays.
“We can’t let them get one or two play touchdowns,” Corley said. “If we can force them to a 13 or 14 or 15 play drive, then you know what, we’ll live with that. We just can’t let them bust big ones.”
This will mean that RS-M’s linebackers will have to come up with big stops.
“Our linebackers are going to be huge this week,” Corley said. “We have Mello now and we need all of our guys to plug their holes and not let them get around us.”
Offensively, the Trojans will continue to try and run the ball.
“I’d love to be able to keep the ball away from them by running it on the ground,” Corley said. “If we have some of those longer drives that end up in scores I’ll be real happy.”
Of course, RS-M will also continue to take their shots with Reggie Preston.
“If there is an opportunity there we’ll take it,” Corley said.
What they’re saying“We want to try and mirror what Blackville-Hilda has done over the years and build that here. It will be a challenge to see if we can match their physical, hard play.” — Heath Corley, Ridge Spring-Monetta head coach
Ridge Spring-Monetta at Blackville-Hilda
Noah Feit: The Hawks will be hungry to show that last week’s loss was a fluke and will be too much for the Trojans. Blackville-Hilda 26, Ridge Spring-Monetta 16
Jeremy Timmerman: Blackville-Hilda got dropped by one set of Trojans last week. They won’t do it again at home, but RS-M will give the Hawks a scare. Blackville-Hilda 24, Ridge Spring-Monetta 20
Scott Rodgers: The Trojans face a tough task, but given that it’s a road game and B-H is coming off of a loss, I just don’t see it dropping two in a row. Blackville-Hilda 28, Ridge Spring-Monetta 14