By Joshua Ford | Waccamaw Contributor
After starting 2-1 for the first time in six years, Waccamaw is fixing to add back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014 against the unbeaten North Charleston Cougars. The Warriors started 2-1 in 2014, won four of their first five games, and made it to the second round of the AAA playoffs.
The Warriors face a different challenge this week than what they’ve seen so far this season; the Cougars like to pass the ball.
In Waccamaw’s opener, Carver’s Bay ran the ball approximately 90 percent of the time. The following week Aynor ran the ball on every play, and last week, Military Magnet ran it on roughly 75 percent of calls. That won’t be the case on Friday night.
“These guys are super athletic, they’re hard to tackle and when they break free, they’re hard to catch,” head coach Shane Fidler said of North Charleston. “So we gotta bring them down and rally to the football. I think our D-line will play really well. They have a good offensive line but I feel like our defensive line can have a decent night and if they do, that will help the DB’s out because we’ll get hands in the quarterback’s face and get some pressure on ‘em.”
The Warriors are hungry for a sack; they’ve yet to record one this season, but given the amount of rushes they’ve seen, they also haven’t many opportunities.
Junior safety Scott Stevens, who leads the team in interceptions with two, is confident that they’ll fill in that stat line in North Charleston and thinks they can get some picks as well due to the pressure.
“I think we will record a sack,” Stephens said. “It’ll probably make it easier for us to get under the ball because the quarterback will have pressure and he won’t be able to throw it as good.”
That’s what happened on a pass last week in their matchup against Military Magnet Academy. Senior Lineman Kyle Pence applied pressure up the middle and the quarterback threw into the diving arms of Stephens. The Warriors capitalized off of the turnover with a touchdown run.
“They’ve got some very physical kids at the line of scrimmage,” Fidler said of the Cougars. “They do some things schematically that worry us, but we’re preparing for them the best that we can and we know that we’re going to their place so they’re going to play real tough and real hard. They’re undefeated so they have a lot of things going for them so we gotta be ready to roll.”
“We added a new defense that’ll lock ‘em up I’m sure,” Stephens said on countering their schemes. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Warriors are hoping to stay fresh after the first-team offense only played only about 15 snaps together before the reserves subbed in.
“Offensively, right now, it’s about staying sharp,” Fidler said. “It’s about keeping them crisp, keeping them sharp going forward as we get ready for region play.”
“[We just have to] have a better offense, which I guarantee that we do, and have a better defense, which I also guarantee that we do,” Stephens said. The goal: “Just beat them.”
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