After earning back-to-back road wins to start the season, Edgewood is expecting quite a welcoming party this week as it hosts Lee-Scott for the first home football game of the year. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents by 55 points in just two games and the team believes returning to its home field will help carry some of that momentum into this Friday’s game.
“We hope being able to play at home for the first time this season will be an extra boost of energy,” Edgewood coach Darryl Free said. “These guys are coming in with a new coach and a lot of interest in their program. Hopefully being at home will lead to us being focused and having a good week of preparation.”
Lee-Scott (1-1) was ranked No. 10 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association preseason poll but then lost its season opener 36-7 to Chambers. However, the Warriors responded well last week with a 42-24 win at Fort Dale, ending the program’s 13-game losing streak and sparking some momentum for the first time in two years.
“That’s absolutely something we talk about but only because I think we can relate to it so well,” Free said. “We know that feeling of snapping a losing streak and they’re going to play confident so we have to match that energy and just play our game.”
The Warriors brought in coach Robert Johnson during the offseason to help turn around a program which just had its first ever winless season. The Warriors have seen plenty of changes to their schemes on both sides of the ball during the transition.
Lee-Scott will primarily be a running team, often working out of the single wing formation. However, the Warriors are expected to throw in some different running concepts in other formations.
“They have changed a lot,” Free said. “Their offensive scheme is completely different. Defensively, they’re completely different. So, it’s going to be a challenge for us because we haven’t seen any of it yet. They are similar to Morgan in some of it so that’s good for us, playing Morgan going into this game.”
The Wildcats held Morgan to under 100 yards last week so they have to be feeling confident in their ability to slow down the Warriors. Lee-Scott’s offense will be led by quarterback Wilks Fisher, who scored three touchdowns on the ground last week, plus running backs Thomas Whatley and Mailon Reese who have combined for over 400 rushing yards the first two games.
Edgewood defeated the Warriors 34-3 last season but it is clear the Wildcats will have to prepare for a completely different team this week. Free said that has been an easy concept for his players to understand and they know Lee-Scott is better this season so they will have to focus to have success Friday.
“It’s going to be about weathering that energy they have,” Free said. “They’re going to play confident football and we have to stay disciplined to counter that.”
A win Friday would give Edgewood its first 3-0 start since 2015. The Wildcats have played three AISA-AAA schools to begin.
“You want to win every ball game but if you get to that 3-0 record against bigger schools, you can kind of sit back and really appreciate what you have accomplished,” Free said. “But there are still four quarters before we can do anything like that.”
PREDICTION: Edgewood 41, Lee-Scott 12