Looking for redemption

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One thing is for sure, Pleasant Home and Kinston both have something to play for this Friday night in region play — a win.

The Eagles are coming off a 46-0 McKenzie rout on the road, where PHS coach Robert Bradford said the team didn’t play well.

“When you play a team like McKenzie, you hope for the best, and after it’s all over with, it’s kind of what you expect,” he said Tuesday. “They’re a really good football team. Of course, we weren’t a good football team Friday night.

“I think it served as a kind of wake up call for our kids,” he said. “They showed up to practice (Monday) re-focused.”

In their first week of the regular season, the Eagles defeated Zion Chapel 21-0. Bradford said the players felt good about getting the win, but “didn’t have a very good week at practice at all” in preparation for McKenzie.

This week, Bradford said it’s a whole new ball game because his team and the Bulldogs are looking for their first region win.

Kinston is coming off a 48-8 loss to Brantley.

Pleasant Home (1-1, 0-1 in Class 1A, Region 2) will be playing a Kinston team with players who are athletic.

“You can’t call a name out there,” Bradford said about Kinston’s personnel. “They’re not a one-man show at all by any means. They’re just a smash mouth football team.

“They’re similar to us, they’re big and strong and they like to run at people,” he said. “It should be an interesting game. It’s kind of one of these deals that both teams are coming off big losses looking to redeem themselves. I’m sure both teams will be fired up and ready to play.”

But, where Kinston has its strength in the running game, Pleasant Home has its defensive line.

“I think it’s pretty even match up between us,” Bradford said. “When we play versus McKenzie, it’s not easy because they’re so much faster than us. I definitely say it’s going to come down Friday night to which team wants it the worst, and who’s willing to go out there and take it.”

In order to get ready for Kinston Friday night, Bradford said the team must step up their game.

“We’re 0-1 in region, and for us to have a chance to meet all of the goals we want to meet, then we’re really going to have to turn it up and hopefully get a win this Friday night,” he said. “We’re just working on intensity level, and just trying to get better at what we do. McKenzie got up so quick on us, and we kind of couldn’t do what we normally do. We hope this week, we can get back to controlling the clock and having long offensive possessions and playing error free football.”

Kickoff in Kinston is at 7 p.m.