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Seeking to rebound from a 46-3 season-opening loss to South Florence, the youth-driven Clover Blue Eagles make the short trek to Forestview on yon side of the border Friday night.
Kickoff time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Forestview High School football stadium.
Second-year head football coach John Devine is hoping for a reversal of fortune when the Clover High School football team strolls into Jaguar Country.
The Blue Eagles fell behind early in the loss to South Florence, trailing 19-3 after the first quarter.
“We fell behind with a kickoff return and early bobble and never recovered,” said Devine. “Our effort was good but the players have to execute.
“We have to move the chains. We can’t give up 80 snaps.”
Forestview was shut out in its opener, with upstart Nation Ford cruising to a 38-0 win.
Despite the loss, the Jaguars had their moments.
Forestview began consuming the clock on its second drive of the game, pounding the ball with regularity from the spread formation.
Sophomore Montavis Rogers did most of the damage as the Jaguars set sail on a 16-play drive that stalled just outside the red zone.
Rogers finished with 56 yards rushing on 11 carries, while teammate Bishop Ford had 61 infantry yards on 12 carries.
Devine said the Blue Eagles need to make something happen early at Forestview Friday night.
“An early score would give the team a lift,” he said.
Devine is keenly aware the Blue Eagles need to build depth this season and next.
“We’ve got to get quicker, faster and stronger with the schedule we play,” he reasoned.
There have been bright spots in early-season play.
Devine lauded the play of senior placekicker Evan Edmunds, who booted a 45-yard field goal in the South Florence game.
“Evan’s doing a great job,” he noted. “He has worked hard to improve his placekicking, including camp participation this summer.”
Edmunds said booting a 45-yard field goal was a confidence-builder for him.
“A good center snap and hold had a lot to do with the successful field goal,” assured Edmunds. “Technique, focus and leg strength are important.
“Playing soccer improved my leg strength and summer camp participation helped my placekicking.”
Senior wide receiver/cornerback JeVaugn Starr had two receptions for 28 yards and a 30-yard interception return against South Florence.
“I read the quarterback and stayed with the play,” Starr said of the timely interception.
“It felt great intercepting the ball.”
Blue Eagle defensive personnel making their presence felt in the season opener included the following:
Trent Hartis, one primary hit, two assists, a tackle for loss and two sacks; Erick Seslar, one solo tackle, two primary hits, six assists; Jevon Blake, four solos, two primary hits, on assist; Coby Hamblen, one primary hit, four assists; Ben Forbes, three primary hits, seven assists; Dee McCombs, one solo, one primary, two assists, two sacks; Jakob Morrison, one solo, one primary, two assists; Zack Conrad, three assists, two sacks; Shantarius Brown, one solo, one primary, two assists.
Senior standout Aaron Felder, a 6-1,190-pound mainstay on both sides of the ball, is out with an ankle injury.
“We expect Aaron to miss at least one week,” Devine said.
The Blue Eagles return home Aug. 31 to play Spring Valley at 7:30 p.m.