Northwest coach Josh Robinson hopes Brumby isn’t able to satisfy his coach’s wish against the Bruins.
“I think coach Parker does a great job out there. They play hard and do things the right way,” Robinson said. “Brumby and Brooks are really, really good, and as far as a tandem in this region, they have to be at the top. Last year, we were able to hem them up, but Brumby got loose in the second half.”
The Bruins beat Pickens 20-7 in Jasper last year.
“We have to prove ourselves against the top half of the sub-region against more traditional programs,” Parker said. “They have a little bigger program, but we want to be in the ballpark with them.”
There are plenty of similarities between the teams. Both won their openers handily, with Northwest taking a 38-20 win over Pepperell, and like the Dragons the Bruins are coming off an open date. Both run a spread offense, and both Parker and Robinson noted that the defenses could be at an advantage this week since they practice against the scheme each week.
However, there are differences — Northwest’s offense is pass-based and Pickens’ is run-based.
For both coaches, the second game of the season is a true measuring stick.
“You are supposed to see the most improvement between the first game and the second one,” Robinson said. “We both will see how much we have approved. They are very, very capable of beating us if we aren’t careful.”
Christian Heritage (1-1) at Coahulla Creek (1-1)
Both teams have suffered self-inflicted wounds during the early part of this season.
Coahulla Creek has been hurt by four interceptions and a pair of fumbles lost, especially in last week’s loss to Gordon Lee. Christian Heritage, which lost to Model 35-28 in the season opener, has the same numbers in those categories.
“We can’t turn over the ball, and we have to capitalize on our opportunities,” Coahulla Creek coach Jared Hamlin said. “We have to quite making those mistakes and start taking advantage of the other teams’ mistakes.”
Lions coach Preston Poag expressed the same sentiments.
“Both of these teams have guys that have played a lot of football over the last three years, and it is time for those guys to execute and compete on every play against every opponent,” Poag said, noting that both teams have several three-year starters. “Their defense is really flying to the ball, and if we have those turnovers, they have the skill players on offense to make us pay for those mistakes.”
Christian Heritage, which won last year’s meeting between the schools 27-3, comes into this game suffering from injuries. Senior tailback Jake Stokes is doubtful for the game with a shoulder injury — he missed the second half against Model and didn’t play in last week’s 51-0 win at Murray County — but receiver Ian Robbins (shoulder) and Tyson Cooper (deep thigh bruise) will be making their return.
Coahulla Creek quarterback Blaine Williams suffered an elbow injury against Gordon Lee, but Hamlin expects him to play tonight.
One big concern for the Colts is Christian Heritage’s offense, which is keyed by quarterback Trevor Brown. The senior, a third-year starter, has passed for 504 yards and seven touchdowns in the Lions’ first two games.
“They have a lot of athletes and they do a lot of things,” Hamlin said. “You can’t sit there and spin your wheels to every little thing that they do, but you have to work to their formations. You can’t be prepared for all 18,000 plays that they run.”