LEWISBURG (WVDN) – The biggest rival for the Greenbrier East Spartans will arrive in Fairlea this Friday, Sept. 2, when the Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles come to town in what will be a physical, old school football game.
The Eagles opened their season last week with an impressive 31-28 win over Riverside. Beckley jumped out to a 28-0 lead before the Warriors battled back, but in the end Woodrow held on for the win.
Woodrow Players to Watch:
Tylai Kimble- 78 yards rushing, TD—89-yard kickoff return TD last week
Matthew Moore- 88 yards rushing, TD last week
Leon Smith- 12 carries, 58 yards last week
Beckley ran for 260 yards in week one and carved up the Riverside defense early. However, in the second half, the Eagles were stymied and only accounted for 58 yards on the ground. Their quarterback, Jay Jones, passed for just 15 yards on six completions so this is a run heavy team.
Kimble and Moore are the two engines that make the Eagles go. Stop them, and the chance of securing a victory for the Spartans goes sky high.
East’s weakness on defense a week ago was stopping the run. A classic tale of strength against weakness could ensue in this one.
Beckley’s weakness is easy to spot on film and that is the pass defense. Warriors quarterback Jake Walker torched the Woodrow secondary for 334 yards and four TD’s. Michael Terrell was the recipient of four of those catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
The Spartans offense was not as explosive in their season opening 30-7 loss to Point Pleasant last week.
They struggled to get the ground game going and ran for only 56 yards on the night, including -2 yards for Ian Cline.
However, Beckley’s pass defense leaves a lot to be desired, so Monquelle Davis and Gavin Bennett will have chances to strike for some big plays this Friday, something the Spartans offense lacked against Point Pleasant.
Lucas McCallister (four receptions, 78 yards, TD in week one), Jake Pate and Donavin Penn could legitimately break out on the field and put up some big numbers. It will still be interesting to see if the Spartans continue to stick with the ground game with Cline, who can break a long run at any time as long as he can get to the second level. Davis could also get loose on some scramble and designed run situations.
Keys to the Game and Prediction:
The keys to this one were laid out above.
It will be the Flying Eagles run game against the Spartans run defense, and the East passing game against the struggling Beckley pass defense. The Spartans need to strike something big early so it is possible you could see Davis and/or Bennett take some deep shots down the field. East will try to avoid letting the Eagles get off to a fast start like they did against Riverside. If that happens, the crowd will be taken out of the game and the home field for this rivalry will be nullified.
However, East will turn it around this Friday. They will make enough big plays to keep that crowd in the game and loud. Beckley will struggle with the noise and make just enough mistakes for the Spartans to get their first win of this young season. Also, kicker Noah Dotson is the difference here.
Greenbrier East- 24
Woodrow Wilson- 21
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