East Clinton matched its best offensive output of the season in last week’s 22-14 loss to Fayetteville-Perry.
Though winless, it seemed that freshman Jared Smith gave the Astros a spark when he was put in at quarterback in the first half.
“Jared has progressed very well this season,” EC head coach Jeremy Yankey said. “Each week he seems to grow and understand our system better. Quarterback is a tough position to put a freshmen on the field on a Friday night but he doesn’t seem to let it bother him. He is a competitor. He worked really hard all off-season in the weight room and learning the quarterback position.Without that preparation he would not be ready at this point.”
Smith and his Astro teammates will get a chance for that first win of the season Friday night when they travel to Bethel-Tate. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Bethel-Tate is 1-6. East Clinton is 0-7.
“They have really struggled this season with turnovers and stopping their opponents,” Yankey said. “So in that respect they are a lot like us. They have thrown 25 interceptions this season and only held one opponent under 30 points.”
Turnovers were a bugaboo for the Astros last week. Three miscues gave the Rockets short fields to work with and they took advantage in the victory.
Gabe Kilore is the leader of the Tigers squad, registering 72 tackles and four sacks this season. Christian Altmayer is a solid special teams player for Bethel-Tate.
The key to the game will be EC’s defensive backs against Bethel-Tate’s Gauge Dunn (41 catches) and Dylan Poff (34 catches).
When used, East Clinton kicker and punter Austin Arellano has been the best player on the team.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports