The Greenbrier East Spartans have enjoyed a nice 4-1 start to the 2020 campaign with their last three victories all blowouts that saw the team score at least 55 points in each contest.
This Friday, October 9, the Spartans head to Oak Hill to take on a Red Devil team that has had its own share of success albeit just one game to measure it.
Yes, Oak Hill (1-0) has played just one game this season, and it came last Friday in a 34-26 victory over the Mingo Central Miners. The Covid-19 metric chart had the Red Devils in the orange and red the last several weeks and kept them from hitting the field. However, last week they moved to green which allowed them to play and they remained there this week.
So, will Oak Hill’s lack of games played be an advantage or disadvantage for East?
Well, the easiest answer is a little bit of both.
The positives for the Spartans are that Oak Hill has not played enough to perfect their plays, plans and schemes in a game environment. They have practiced a ton, but until they are out under the lights when the stats are counted it’s a different ball game. But not playing can work against East as well. The Red Devils will be healthier and have more energy than normal at this point in the season. Throw in the fact that this will be East’s third straight road game, and fatigue could definitely become a factor on the Spartans side.
In the win over Mingo Central, Oak Hill displayed some talent and showcased that they have some players who can compete and give the Spartans problems.
Quarterback Logan Lawhorn is a big kid that accounted for four touchdowns last week. He had two 1-yard runs, and threw a 76-yard touchdown pass and a 43-yard scoring toss. His favorite target is Braxton Hall who caught both of those touchdown passes and he also intercepted two passes on defense.
Te’amo Shelton will carry the ball a lot out of the backfield as evidenced by his 38-yard score against Mingo Central.
On defense, outside of Hall’s two picks, Ethan Vargo-Thomas is also a player on that side of the ball. He also recorded two interceptions.
The Red Devils will be the best team the Spartans have played in the last month. They are bigger, faster and more athletic than East’s last three opponents.
The Spartans always love to get the running game going with Colby Piner (510 yards, seven touchdowns), Quentin Wilson(447 yards, two TD’s) and quarterback Monquelle Davis (401 yards, six TD’s), but in this contest a good passing game could prove to be the difference in the win or loss column.
Davis is a more than capable passer and has thrown for 535 yards and eight touchdows. Piner is his primary target through five games as he has 13 catches for 293 yards and three more scores.
The Spartans are averaging 453 yard of total offense per game.
East will need to force a couple turnovers in this one and they have excelled at that so far. They have forced 17 of them on the season and Lucas McCallister leads the team with three interceptions and multiple players have recovered fumbles. They have also scored three defensive touchdowns.
This game has the potential to be a shootout or a defensive struggle. The former is more likely. No matter what, expect some explosive plays on both sides. With little to base things on for Oak Hill due to their short season to this point, the Spartans should be in good shape to eke out a win with a score closer than what the experts think.