Seeking to rebound from a season-opening 44-26 loss to Westside, the Clover High School football team treks to Forestview Friday to battle the Jaguars.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
While the Blue Eagles battled Westside on the road Friday, the Jaguars pounded Nation Ford 48-28.
“Forestview is loaded,” second-year head Blue Eagle football coach Chad Smith said Monday. “They operate the spread offense with a Division 1 running back leading the way.”
Smith was referring to heavily recruited Mo Neal, who is hearing from several Division 1 schools, including Mississippi State, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Duke.
While Smith is aware the Blue Eagle defense will face a challenge Friday, he is more concerned about the mindset of the Clover team.
“We need to execute what we do, focus on how we play,” he said. “Our kids know how to compete. They need to take it to the next level, get used to winning.”
Against Westside, Smith said the Blue Eagles had their moments despite untimely miscues that thwarted potential scoring opportunities.
“You can’t make that many mistakes against a good team and expect to win,” said Smith. “We had self-inflicted mistakes, which often occur in the early season.”
While Westside took advantage of Clover miscues, scoring 44 points in the season opener, the Blue Eagles had offensive production.
Willy Clark, a 5-foot, 8-inch, 152-pound running back, dazzled the crowd with an 83-yard kickoff return that sliced Westside’s lead to 14-13.
Clark also made a 24-yard halfback pass to junior wingback Cody Payne for a touchdown.
“I was looking for the ball and gathered it in for the score,” said Payne, who stands at 5-foot, 11-inches, 152 pounds.
Payne lauded the Blue Eagles’ all-senior offensive line.
“They get the job done,” said Payne. “All I have to do is hit the hole fast, stay low and use leverage.”
Payne said when the offensive line is coming off the ball, the double wing is hard to stop.
“If the backs can get three or four yards a pop, there are no fourth-down punt situations,” he said.
The “pass-happy” Blue Eagles had another score through the air when junior quarterback Noah Lindsay found junior teammate Tenchi Her open for a 17-yard touchdown.
Lindsay also had a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown.
Barrett Courtwright, a 6-foot, 234-pound senior defensive tackle, predicts the defense will get stronger as the season progresses.
“We have young players meshing with experienced players,” he said. “The key is to stay aggressive and run to the ball.”
After Friday’s showdown, the Blue Eagles return to Memorial Stadium for home opener against Westside Sept. 5.
The CHS football team will stay at home the next Friday, Sept. 12, to battle White Knoll. Region 3-AAAA play begins Oct. 3 at home against Fort Mill.
All 2014 Blue Eagle football games start at 7:30 p.m.