Trojans look to lock up winning record, playoff berth
Two weeks ago, a playoff bid was in doubt for the Chase Trojans. But two wins over North Gaston and Kings Mountain have put Chase back over .500 ( 5-4,2-4 SMAC) and squarely in the postseason picture.
“We are playoff eligible right now and that’s the big thing,” said Chase head coach Daniel Bailey. “But if we don’t win one of these next two, we could be sitting at home. I’ve challenged the kids not to leave it up to the state. If we take care of business Friday we are in for sure.”
Taking care of business against the 1-8 Cavaliers of East Burke may not be as easy as it looks on paper.
“They are a very sound football team,” Bailey said. “When you look at them on film, they always seem to be in the right position. They don’t make a lot of mistakes. We’re going to have to beat them because they don’t beat themselves.”
In order to beat the visitors from Connelly Springs, Chase will have to deal with a Cavaliers’ offense that features multiple formations.
“They run a little bit off everything, so we are going to be ready for anything,” Bailey said. “I expect them to throw everything at us. Reverses, counters, play action passes, I think they might try it all. It’s going to be a challenge for our defense because all eleven men can’t go swarming to the football this week.”
The defense also faces the unique challenge of lining up against southpaw signal caller Elijah Reese.
“Anytime you are playing a left-handed quarterback, everything is backwards,” Bailey said. “He rolls out to the opposite spot on the field. When you rush him, you have to come from a different angle and those are things that are hard to adjust to when you have been seeing right-handed quarterbacks all year.”
One thing that doesn’t need adjusting is the Trojans triple option offense, keyed by senior Josh Wright. Over the last two games, the fullback has rushed for 271 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
“The triple option is a beautiful offense to watch when it is run properly and that’s what we’ve done the past two games. Josh has done a great job, but the offensive line also deserves a lot of credit. They have made the difference.”
If Wright has another big game it will fittingly be on senior night for the Trojans.
“I can’t say enough about what Josh and the other seniors have meant to this football program,” Bailey said. “If we win this game we will finish the regular season above .500 which is an improvement over last year and pretty amazing when you look at who we have played. They have had great careers on the football field, but what I’m most proud of is what they have accomplished in the classroom and in the community. I’m so proud of these young men.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.