West Brunswick home game pic 1

Trojan senior Kevon Daniels ran for nearly 400 all-purpose yards, five touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the 64-62 loss to Whiteville on Aug. 26.

After two weeks of road games, the West Brunswick varsity football team plays the first home game of the season on Friday, Sept. 2, hosting the North Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Chiefs at 7 p.m. in M.H. Rourk Stadium.

Both teams are after their first win of the year as they each sport 0-2 records against non-conference/non-region opponents.

The Trojans will wrap up their non-conference schedule against the Chiefs and then head into a bye week to prepare for a visit from Hoggard in the first Mideastern Conference game on Sept. 16.

Friday night’s game will be West and North Myrtle’s first meeting in four years. The last matchup was played Aug. 31, 2018 in Little River, S.C. where the Chiefs won 35-10.

“I’m really excited about playing North Myrtle Beach again. I think it’s been since the first year I was here, that was the last time we got to play them,” Trojan varsity football head coach Caleb Pardue said.

“We didn’t play them in 2019. I think it was a hurricane that year. The game got canceled. Then the COVID year. And then last season, we were getting ready to play them and then COVID hit us. You know, it’s nice. It’s the closest school we’ll play. It should be a good gate. There should be a lot of people in the stands.

“I think they’re in a similar situation as us as far as having to play some young guys and get them experience. They look really talented on film, so it will definitely be a good challenge for us.”

Pardue said both teams are running the triple option out of the shotgun this year.

“And that presents its own set of problems. They’re doing a good job. Up front, especially. They’ve got some really good looking young linemen and the quarterback does a good job taking care of the ball,” he said.

He added the West defense has been reeling a little bit, but during the second half of the team’s game with Whiteville a defensive adjustment showed the way forward to improve on that side of the ball.

“We made a couple of adjustments, in the front, especially. And I feel like it put them in a more advantageous situation. Whiteville was still getting yardage, but we get the turnover and then we stopped them on fourth down, twice. Those are two things that I think, moving forward, we can kind of hang our hat on,” Pardue said.

“We played fairly well in the second half. Not by our standard, by any means, but the fourth quarter kind of looked a little bit more like us, defensively.”

“We’re going to keep getting better. That’s our whole goal. Defensively, after the Pinecrest scrimmage, I thought maybe we were a little bit more ahead of schedule than we actually were. I think for us, it’s just going to be finding pieces and making sure that we’re giving our kids the best chance possible to succeed.”

Pardue also expects to show the offensive success the Trojans displayed against the Wolfpack for the home crowd on Friday.

“Offensively, that’s where most of our experience is. Kevon (Daniels), I’ll have to double-check but I’m pretty sure he probably set a school record Friday night for total yardage. He had close to 400 all-purpose yards on, I think, 21 carries. So he’s getting 18-19 yards a touch,” he said.

And then, J.J. (Cobb) is special. Javan McCray, he can play a lot better than he did Friday night, and he had gaudy stats. So that’s exciting. I feel like we have not reached our potential just yet on that side of the ball and we scored 62. We probably, there at the end, should have scored again. We had a couple breaks that didn’t go our way. And that’s okay. But if you’d told me at halftime that we had a chance to win the game, I would not have believed you.

“I’m really proud of our staff. Everybody just kept coaching. We made some adjustments and it ended up working out. I think moving forward we have a lot of stuff to build off of. Offensively, obviously we feel really good where we’re at. Defensively, we feel really not good where we’re at. We’re getting better on offense. But at the same time, if we can make some leaps and bounds on defense, then I’ll still feel good about where we’ll be when we play the conference schedule.”

But first, the Trojans will enjoy playing on the home turf at M.H. Rourk Stadium.

“A home game, I think, one, it just makes your kids a lot more comfortable. We’ve been on the road the last two weeks and I feel like if we ever needed a home game, it’s now,” Pardue said.

“It’ll be nice to kind of settle down for the kids and for myself and the rest of the coaches. To be able to focus on playing a home game and not having to get on a bus to go anywhere. I’m excited. I think it will be a good game. I fully expect us to keep clicking on offense. And I think we’re going to make strides on defense. If we do this week, moving into the bye week, I’ll feel a lot better about where we’re at.”

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