Several times in a season, an athletic team can encounter a litmus test, a game where the coach can say, “Yes, we are progressing” or “We still have a long way to go.”
East Clinton head coach Steven Olds believes Friday against unbeaten Minford is the first such test for his Astros.
“We are going to find out where we are on Friday,” said Olds, who has the Astros at 2-2 with the non-conference on tap. “One way or another, we should get an idea of how far we have come or how far we still have to go. This will be strong test for our guys but one that they should be looking forward to. As usual, they will need to bring great energy and be the more physical football team in order to get the result we desire.”
The game will be a Hometown Showcase event with R&L Carriers. R&L will have a trailer in the East Clinton tennis courts parking area for visitors to walk through. EC athletic director Jim Marsh said R&L will have giveaways at the game.
East Clinton is coming off a 26-7 win over McClain, a game played in Highland County with the home team celebrating its Homecoming.
The Astros ground game was in high gear, rushing for 340 yards on 46 attempts. Todd Wedding led the way with 218 yards and two TDs on 29 rushes. Jared Smith carried the ball 14 times for 89 yards and a score. Smith also hooked up with Kaleb Kingery for a seven-yard passing score.
On defense, Patrick Dotson had three sacks and Phillip Davis recorded two as the Astros kept the pressure on the Tigers in their comeback attempt.
”I thought we played with great physicality and that our offensive line set the tone early,” Olds said. “We took better care of the football, so I was very happy to see that. As with most young teams, there was some questionable decision making at times, but those things happen and we will continue to work to correct them during practice.”
Minford, fresh off a win over Wilmington last week, is going to be a tough opponent for the Astros.
“They have good team speed and are well coached,” Olds said. “The quarterback and tailback are dangerous and present a constant threat to the defense. Defensively they run what appears to be a 4-3 that they will bump to a 3-4 over front.”
Two weeks ago, Minford ran for more than 400 yards. Last week against Wilmington, the Falcons were a more balanced offense but still totaled more than 400 yards of offense.