Through five games, Wilmington’s offense generally has had little trouble moving the football, even in the trio of losses to start the season.
Scoring in the red zone and converting big plays has been, from time to time, a shortcoming.
The last two weeks, though, the Hurricane has found its footing in that regard, posting wins of 49-0 over CHCA and 45-0 over Aiken.
Wilmington (2-3) looks to continue that trend Friday night when Batavia (1-4) visits Alumni Field. Kickoff for the annual Homecoming game is 7 p.m.
Wilmington has won four straight over Batavia since WHS joined the SBAAC. Wilmington has wins of 49-3 (last year), 56-7 in 2018, 64-49 in 2017 and 23-7 in 2016.
First-year WHS head coach Ryan Evans said the Bulldogs will show a variety of offensive formations, looking for deception to confuse the WHS defense. The Batavia defense is similar to what Wilmington runs, he said. The Bulldogs have several physical linebackers that will be tested against the Hurricane run game.
Win or lose, each game has a learning experience for Evans and his Hurricane. There were issues in the aftermath of last week’s win over Aiken.
“We will win with class and lose with class. That’s what champions do,” said Evans. “(That stuff) … will not be tolerated while I am the head coach here.”
Wilmington has scored defensive and/or special teams points in each of the first five games this season. The Hurricane has a safety, two fumble recoveries for a touchdown, four interception returns for a touchdown and a punt return for touchdown.
The defense has been opportunistic if not consistent all season. Even in losses to Ross, Miami Trace and Mt. Healthy, the defense gave the Hurricane opportunities to win the game.
On special teams, making it a focus rather than an afterthought has proven successful.
”When I first got here we talked about how I pride myself on having amazing special teams and we have started to have success on those units as of late,” Evans said. “Coach (Kyle) Davis does a great job with organizing and running our special teams. In addition to his role as running backs coach, he holds special team meetings, comes up with a great game plan, and works with the other coaches on the best personnel for each unit. We make special teams fun to be part of.”