PIEDMONT — After getting a much needed bounce back 24-21 win over T.L. Hanna last Friday, Wren High football coach Jeff Tate knows his team will need a quick turnaround for Friday’s rivalry game against Easley.
Tate said it’s certainly a game the Hurricanes have had circled on the schedule.
“It will be an emotional game, a physical game and a good measuring stick to tell us where we stand,” Tate said.
The head coach said he saw some much-needed improvement from week one to week two, as the offense was able to eliminate some mistakes in the win over Hanna.
“From week one to week two, our focus was trying to take care of the football,” Tate said. “We only had one turnover against Hanna as opposed to seven against Woodmont so obviously we did a much better job.”
Tate said his team also did a much better job on defense.
“I think we were better running the football and better defending the pass,” Tate said. “We didn’t give up any really big plays. We were pretty sound defensively and we had guys in the right spots.”
“There was improvement and hopefully that’s something we can build on with this young group,” Tate continued. “Going forward, we’re hoping to add some stuff and improve in ways that will help our guys become a better football team.”
Looking towards Easley, Tate said his defense will have their work cut out for them.
“Easley is excellent on defense,” Tate said. “They’re physical and they’ve got great team speed. What’s hurt them is that their best running back, CJ Fuller, has been injured. He’ll probably be at full speed this week for the first time this season, and that makes them a much different football team.”
Tate said his team needs to look no further than last year’s game tape when assessing Fuller’s capabilities.
“CJ has had a great career against us,” Tate said. “He set the school rushing record when we played at their place and we know what kind of football player he is and we do expect him to be a factor. It’s going to be very difficult, but we have to rely on our quickness and technique.”
“We can’t let a guy like CJ into the secondary,” he said. “Once he finds the secondary the next stop is going to be the end zone. We’re going to have to do some things defensively to try to slow him down.”
Tate said his hurricanes will need to find a way to get the ball moving on offense to slow down the pace of Easley’s offense.
“We’ve got to find a way to run the ball,” Tate said. “We’ve been able to do that in our first two games fairly well, but we’ve got to have a good game to have success against Easley. We need to move the ball and keep them on the sidelines as long as possible.”
Whatever the outcome, Tate said historically his team always learns a little more about itself when facing the Green Wave.
“When you play this group, you find out pretty quickly that they’re good,” Tate said of Easley. “They’ll let you know where your weaknesses are and if you’re doing things right, hopefully you’ll discover some things about your team. “
Kickoff is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Piedmont.