11/18/10 — Rosewood-Hobbton preview

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Rosewood-Hobbton preview

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 18, 2010 1:47 PM

Rosewood gets a shot at redemption Friday evening and expects no surprises when it faces Hobbton in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A Midwest Region football playoffs.

The Cats won the earlier meeting, 28-6.

The Eagles (5-7 overall) hung around in that contest and head coach Robert Britt figures his team will be better prepared this time.

"We played earlier this year so we know what we are getting into," said Britt. "I think our guys understand the things that we need to do in order to get a different outcome. Whenever a team can go back and look at the film from earlier in the season, it is a big advantage.

"We know how they are going to line up against us defensively and they know what to expect from us, so it may very well come down to whoever can run the ball more effectively."

Sustaining drives and limiting Hobbton's big-play capability on defense could aide Rosewood's cause. In their regular-season meeting, Wildcat defensive back Ira Moore returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown.

Fullback Eli Chestnutt broke free for two long scoring runs.

The Eagles' backfield tandem of Jamie Wooten and Logan Waters combined for 140 yards rushing in the loss. Waters' status remains day to day due to an injury. Wooten, junior Shane Whitley and speedster Jykhia Applewhite will handle the offensive load.

Whitley rushed for 135 yards against South Davidson last week, and suffered a mild ankle sprain in the third quarter. Applewhite returned a punt for a touchdown and added two more scores in the opening-round win.

"I think Shane gives us a little more quickness in the backfield," said Britt. "With him getting the number of yards that he is from the fullback position, it keeps the defense honest and allows us to use our speed and get to the edge."

Rosewood claimed its first playoff victory in seven seasons, and has won three of its last four games in 2010. The Eagles hope to carry that confidence into Newton Grove.

"We know that we can compete with anybody right now," said Britt. "By this point in the season every team that we play is going to be the favorite so there is no need for us to be hesitant. We just have to show up ready to play and see what happens."