East Clinton looks to end a three-game losing streak Friday night in a front a homecoming crowd as Fayetteville-Perry visits Lees Creek.
”Fayetteville will be another tough test,” EC head coach Steven Olds said. “They have a talented trio of skill players and the QB (Levi Wiederhold) is big with a strong arm. They like to throw the ball and it is not uncommon to see them throw upwards of 50 times a game. Defensively, we have seen them in an even front but we would not be surprised to see them come out in a 5-2 and load the box.”
Kickoff for the SBAAC National Division contest is set for 7 p.m.
East Clinton is coming off a 26-0 loss to Bethel-Tate. The Astros, 3-3 overall, 0-1 in the league, had just 43 yards of total offense against the hard-charging Tigers.
”Bethel-Tate is a very good football team and we knew that going in,” Old said. “We held them to 2/12 on third down and 2/8 on fourth down, we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Olds, though disappointed with the loss, said the best is yet to come for his team.
“We still haven’t put together a complete game where we play well in all three phases at the same time,” he said. “If we can do that over the last month of the season, starting with Fayetteville this Friday night, then we will be successful.”
East Clinton is on the fringe of playoff contention but has plenty of big games coming up to secure a post-season berth. There are things about his squad Olds likes through six weeks.
”At this point in the season I am very happy with how our defense is playing,” the veteran coach said. “They are getting to the football and have tackled much better in the last couple of weeks. Offensively, we still feel good about our running game and like our chances when we have our full complement of backs available. Our special teams, as whole, is probably the most improved unit of the three. Coach (Scooby) Boysel has done a great job of getting those guys ready every week. We’ve had some big returns and our punt team has consistently been able to flip the field for us, which is often overlooked but very important.”
However, to reach their ultimate goal, the Astros need improvement in several aspects of the game.
Said Olds, “I’d like to see us continue to develop our passing game. We are going to need it when teams stack the box against us. We also need to get better in the kicking game, as we have left too many points off the board. And on defense we need to continue working toward being better tacklers. If we can improve in all three of these areas, then our chances for success will go up exponentially.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports