Eagles look to snap skid

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015


If Pleasant Home (0-3, 0-1) wants to make a statement this season, Eagles’ head coach Chris Mason said it must begin Friday night when they host the Kinston Bulldogs (0-3, 0-2) for a Class 1A, Region 2 contest.

“I think we have a good opportunity to take a step in the right direction this week,” Mason said. “Kinston has some guys dinged up from the McKenzie game just like we did.”

Pleasant Home leads the all-time series between Kinston with a record of 8-7, but the Bulldogs won last season’s contest 41-0.

“This is the game that will define the progress over the last year and half,” Mason said. “There comes a time when you know what you are supposed to do and where you are supposed be, and now it comes down to just making the plays.”

Mason said that a win this week could help propel either team into the playoffs.

“There are three of us fighting for that fourth playoff spot,” Mason said. “A win this week will go a long way. If we want to make the playoffs and make a statement, then we have to win this game. This game will decide what direction the season will go.”

With so much on the line, Mason said that he has challenged his players to step up this week.

“We have challenged the kids to be more aggressive and to make plays,” Mason said. “This is a great rivalry and both teams are going to bring it. I’m confident in our guys, and I know we can win. One thing we talked about all week was limiting our turnovers and other miscues. If we can overcome our own mistakes, we can win this game and make a playoff run.”

Mason said that no matter what the records of the teams coming into this game, it is always a hard-fought slugfest.

“It will be smash mouth football,” Mason said. “This is a good game every year no matter what the records. This is the biggest game of the year for us, and it is a must win if we want to make a statement. I’m just excited to see where we want to go. The winner of this game will have a good shot at the fourth playoff spot.”

Mason said that Kinston won’t do anything tricky on offense, but they will just line up and run it right up the gut.

“They want to run the ball,” Mason said. “They will run out of double wing and shotgun. Our offensive styles are very similar, they come right at you.”

Defensively, Mason said that Kinston would stack the box in hopes of shutting down the rushing attack.

“They will come out in a five front and will put eight guys in the box,” Mason said. “We will have to stay balanced on offense and be able to set things up. If we have success in the air, we can get them out of the box and it sets up the run, and the other way around. We have been more balanced the past few weeks, and we have to continue that.”

Kickoff between the Bulldogs and Eagles is at 7 p.m., in Pleasant Home.