Central looks to rebound at Draughn
After suffering a 45-14 loss to Shelby, R-S Central (1-2, 0-1 SMAC) hopes to get back on track tonight at Draughn.
The Wildcats (0-4, 0-1 SMAC) are dealing with plenty of their own struggles as they’re currently winless on the year and have been outscored by opponents 127-45.
“We want to get the win on the road but we know they’ll be just as hungry for one,” Central head coach Mike Cheek said.
Despite the lopsided scores, Draughn’s defense ranks third in the SMAC allowing just 267.2 yards of total offense per game.
The Hilltoppers average just over 50 yards per game of total offense, 224.7 of which come on the ground thanks to a trio of running backs, Matt Atchley, Desmond Whitesides and Rashaun Whitesides.
Usually after the first series we can tell what the defense is keying in on,” Cheek said. “If they’re focusing on the fullback then we go to our wingbacks and the other way around.”
Atchley has carried most of the load this season with 56 carries for 305 yards (101.7 per game) and two scores.
According to Cheek, the Draughn offense is led by their fullback and jumbo-sized offensive line.
“They have some big boys on the line that easily weigh over 270 (pounds),” Cheek said. “We’ll have to find a way around them.”
However, the beef for Draughn hasn’t led to a wealth of offensive production as they rank last in the conference in total yards (223 yards).
Quarterback Coy Lambert is averaging just 43 passing yards per game and has thrown five interceptions, so it looks like tonight will be a run-heavy affair consider Hilltopper QB Jay’len Hollis has completed just seven passes for 78 yards in Central’s three games.
The key to tonight’s game, however, may not be the players on the field, but the field itself.
“We seem to play better on the road,” Cheek said. “Our win at Polk County and scrimmages away from home were our best performances. I think it puts less pressure on the kids and they respond.”
Kickoff os set for 7:30 p.m. in Valdese.