Enquirer Herald

Blue Eagles swat Jackets, enter Trojan Country

CLOVER -- Riding the momentum of a 49-21 thrashing of Fort Mill, the Clover Blue Eagles are in a lock and load mode for Friday's Region 3-AAAA headliner against the high-profile Northwestern Trojans.

Kickoff time is 7:30 p.m. in 10,000-seat District Three Stadium.

While the Blue Eagles were taking care of business against Fort Mill last week, the Trojans saddled the Nation Ford Falcons with a 51-0 setback.

The good news for Northwestern opponents is that record-setting quarterback Will King graduated.

The bad news is that sophomore signal-caller Justin Worley is on pace to equal or exceed King's passing heroics.

CHS head coach Jet Turner is mindful of Northwestern's big-play capabilities.

"They haven't skipped a beat," Turner said of coach "Moose" Wallace's pass-happy Trojans. "They are explosive on offense and play great defense."

If opposing defenses scheme to reduce Worley's output, there's Jarrett Neely contend with.

The offensive sparkplug amassed 217 all-purpose yards against Nation Ford in slightly more than two quarters of play.

While the Trojans are sure to air it out, the Blue Eagles will counter with lethal weaponry of their own out of the vaunted wing-T attack.

It would behoove opposing defenses to pay attention as to the whereabouts of fullbacks Tyron Douglas and Ricky Moore and wingback Max Elliott.

Douglas is a power runner with speed to take it to the house. He runs like there's no tomorrow.

"I like to run the ball and will be ready to go every down," Douglas said amid congratulatory fans after the Fort Mill game.

Moore is a punishing runner between the tackles and Elliott has breakaway speed.

With so many thoroughbreds in the stable and quarterback Aaron Miller's elusiveness, ball movement starts at the point of attack.

Said offensive line coach Butch Windell of the offensive surge needed to win, "Coming off the ball to wall off the defense is critical to the success of the wing-T or any offense."

Windell said he is "ticked to death" with the offensive line play, especially the 600 yards rushing against Westside.

The rushing game bared fruit in the win over Fort Mill to the tune of 350-plus infantry yards.

Douglas was the workhorse, pounding the Fort Mill defense for 197 yards on the ground.

The Blue Eagles scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions, highlighted by a 68-yard TD run by Douglas.

Like the rest of his teammates, Douglas is primed for Friday's game at Northwestern.

"We are working hard this week to meet the challenge," he said. "They have a strong defense."

Offensive lineman Caleb Long said the key Friday night is to remain focused and to execute.

"We performed well tonight as a unit," Caleb said after Friday's game. "It is important for us to know Northwestern's defense and who to block."

Team leader Moore expects a hard fought game.

"We know Northwestern has a good offense and defense," he said. "One play could make the difference in a game like this.

"Our goal is to be 2-0 in the region."

Said Turner of Friday's game against the No. 4 ranked Trojans, "We're excited about the opportunity. It's a matter of going over there and getting after it. Our kids are resilient."