Cavaliers battle Chargers on homecoming

Oct. 24, 2013 @ 06:50 PM

East Rutherford football struggled against Cleveland County powers Burns and Shelby before claiming a close 10-6 win at Draughn last Friday. Tonight the Cavaliers welcome the final piece of the Big 3 to Forest City when Crest comes to town.

"We're off a win and feeling good but we know it will be a little tougher this week than last," East Rutherford head coach Clint Bland said. "We'll have a homecoming crowd here and we certainly want to win. It's going to be difficult but we're playing to win."

The easiest difference to point out between the Chargers and the Draughn team East Rutherford faced last week is overall team speed.

"They're going to have more speed than Draughn. We know they like to run it but it's going to be a different type of athlete running with it," Bland said.

The Crest rushing attack is led by Tre Harbison who leads the conference with 15 touchdowns and comes in second with 922 yards rushing on 102 carries. For thos who prefer not to do math, that's just over 9 yards per carry and 115 yards per game.

Jalin Moore is close behind with 610 yards on the year with 12 touchdowns

The team as a whole leads the conference averaging over 260 yards on the ground.

"We're going to have to gang tackle and get three, four, five guys to the ball," Bland said. "We know what we have to stop defensively. We've been working with the formations and recognizing them. But recognizing them is one thing, we need to stop them."

The Chargers' defense also ranks in the top half half of the conference allowing just over 292 yards per game. The Cavalier offense hopes some fresh looks will help them hurt that average.

"We might give them some different looks and force them to adjust. Hopefully that will help us find some success and find an edge," Bland said.

A win this week is critical for the Cavaliers as they close the season with R-S Central and Chase to close 2013. The three county rivals could be battling for two playoff spots.

"This team is smart. They know what's coming after Crest and they know they're the 2A teams we need to beat in order to make the playoffs," Bland said of his Cavaliers. "But first we want to have a good showing against Crest and possibly pull an upset."

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 at East Rutherford.