Eagles visit Lawrence
MERRY HILL – Two local teams will square off here Friday night.
Northeast Academy will be making the short trek from Lasker to Lawrence Academy to square off with the Warriors Friday with both football teams looking for win number one this season.
“I don’t think either of us are having the season we expected to,” Lawrence second-year mentor Beau Drake said. “Both teams have talent and we thought we would be fighting a different battle.”
His counterpart at Northeast agreed.
“I definitely think it will add to an already good rivalry that we’re both looking for our first win,” Eagles’ skipper Stevie Flythe said. “Coach Drake and I talk just about every week and I wish we were in a situation where one of us was going to suffer their first loss, but it is what it is.”
While neither team has tasted victory, they have put up quite a few points. Last week, Lawrence scored 52 points, but suffered an 81-52 loss as two starters missed the contest.
Northeast also put up a lot of points, scoring 46 points in a 64-46 loss to Parrott Academy last week.
“I think we’re pretty evenly matched in a lot of ways,” Flythe said. “In our losses to common opponents, we’ve scored about the same amount of points, so I think we’re a lot alike.”
“We’re similar in a lot more ways than just our record,” he said. “I think both teams have started to play well on offense and we both are hoping to have the defense come around.”
Northeast will be without Joseph Brown this week, and perhaps for the rest of the season as he suffered his second concussion. Flythe said he will not dress this week and likely will not return in 2012.
The coach is hoping to get Trey Futrell back after he suffered a head injury last week, but may be cleared as early as Thursday.
Both coaches said they will look to their defense to win the football game.
“Our defense has to step up,” Flythe said. “Our offense has come along. We have put up 40-plus for the past two weeks and are heading in the right direction. Our defense will tell the tale of how well we do.”
Flythe said he wasn’t planning any surprises on defense, but working to get his team better at what they already do.
“When we get down what we’re trying to do, we’ll start adding to it,” he said. “We have to get where we want to be first.”
Drake said his concerns were the same.
“The first thing we have to do is stop Bo Daniel,” Drake said. “They’re going to give it to him and if we don’t stop him, he’s going to run over us all night.
“We also have to have some answer for Jake Ellis on their offensive line,” Drake continued. “The two of them make their running game go.”
While Drake is worried about the twosome, Flythe will be counting on their continued work.
“Jake Ellis has kind of taken the other two linemen under his wing and they seem to be getting what we’re doing,” Flythe said. “Bo has gotten cranked up and we’re getting good play from Adam Creech.
“The key still is Christian Fleetwood,” the coach continued. “He may be the most improved player on our team. He has made a big difference at quarterback and is starting to show some leadership as well.”
On the other side of the field, Drake said he needs solid play from Ryan Lilley and Jesse White, who have been two of his leaders.
“We also have to get some of the younger guys to start making plays,” he said. “They have been out there for several games now and it’s time for them to step up. When you’re rebuilding, you have to get those young guys experience and they’re getting it.”
The two teams will renew their annual rivalry at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Lawrence.