After dropping two straight games in away matches, the Morristown West Trojans are searching for a win to get them back on track.
The wins do not come easy on the road, though. Head Coach Alvin Sanders’ Trojans have now lost road games to Farragut and Morristown East after beginning the season 2-0. Now, West is set to travel to play the Carter Hornets in Strawberry Plains this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“First things first, we have to have the right mindset,” Sanders said. “We don’t want to think about dropping two games in a row. We have to get back to playing ‘Trojan football’. We have to communicate and line up and make plays on the defensive side of the ball. We have to make the right plays on offense like we know how to do.”
The Trojans (2-2) will have their hands full once again facing another explosive team in Carter (4-2).
It is an uncommon matchup for the two as they have only played each other once in the last 10 years. That one time being last season’s game where Carter won a tightly contested battle over West, 27-21.
Sanders is looking for a different outcome this time around so his team can gain their confidence back before facing Region 1-6A opponent Science Hill in week eight.
“We are going to focus on the outcome we want and that’s to be region champs,” Sanders said. “We want to focus on being a dangerous ball club.
“If we can just win a game on the road we can put ourselves in prime position to gain some much-needed confidence as we go into the region games on our schedule.”
The Hornets aren’t a flashy offense that will defeat their opponent with big plays but they are a well-balanced offense that can move the ball.
Quarterback Chandler Wilson of Carter comes into the game against West averaging just 134 yards a game but has thrown for eight touchdowns in six games. Alongside, Wilson is the rushing game that is averaging 122.2 yards a game with multiple backs receiving carries each time out.
“Carter has playmakers all around,” Sanders said. “They have a quarterback that has one of the stronger arms I have seen. They have receivers that are quick and the coaches do a great job at mixing up their run game with their pass game.”
Not only does Carter hold a variety of weapons on the offensive side of the ball but it does so on defense as well.
Five different players on the Hornets have tallied over 20 tackles in their first six games. From the defensive line to the secondary, tackling has not been an issue for Carter.
“These guys don’t miss tackles,” Sanders said. “They are big up front like we are. The secondary plays assignment football and the linebackers are quick guys. They don’t beat themselves. They make the plays they are supposed to make. They play together and play extremely hard.”
Sanders is relying on his defense to get back to playing the way he knows they can to stop this Carter team.
“It comes down to our secondary,” Sanders said. “We have had a great week in practice. Those guys are locking into some small detail stuff. I think they will come out ready to play and will make some big defensive stops for us.”
On the offensive end, Sanders believes it won’t just be running back Hunter Delaney making an impact for them in this game.
“I think Nick Hildebrand will be a huge x-factor for us,” Sander said. “We are finally finding an edge for him with carries and catching the ball out of the outfield. I think if he starts well and the offensive line can continue to do a great job, it will be a great night for us.”
Even though it is a non-region matchup, a win for the Trojans will have them one game over .500 and in the right direction as the back half of their schedule is full of region games.