The Bunker Hill Bears are looking for something they haven’t found in 11 years — a 4-0 start to a football season. The last time the Bears went 4-0 to start a season, Bill Clinton was the president.
That thought, however, is not even in the players’ heads.
“I don’t think that is registering with any of the kids, and we are just preparing for our next opponent,” Bunker Hill coach Travis Conner said. “We are just going to keep plowing forward.”
The Bears go for their fourth straight win Friday at Fred T. Foard.
With both teams’ commitment to the running game, Conner expects a quick game Friday night at Foard.
“We ought to be home early because that clock will continue to run,” he said.
The non-conference foes will try to run their way to the endzone Friday night at Foard. Both the Bears and Tigers love to run the ball. The Bears have a two-headed monster in Reggie Davis and Davontaye Wilson. Davis was the workhorse Sept. 3 against St. Stephens with 39 carries for 198 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and Wilson made the big runs for 121 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
The Tigers, however, have a big bruising running back on their roster as well. Tre Robinson is a big, bruising runner following two bruising 180 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Plowing the road for Robinson is linemen Cole Schanilec and Tanner Flemming — both weighing more than 280 pounds and taller than 6 feet.
“We are going to have to get after them the bet we can, and we are going to have to have a really good game to win,” Conner said.
NEWTON-CONOVER AT ST. STEPHENS
Newton-Conover and St. Stephens are heading in different directions this season. The Red Devils started this season 2-0 after wins over East Lincoln and Hickory, and the Indians lost their first three to East Surry, Bandys and Bunker Hill.
The Red Devils scored 76 points in their first two games, and the Indians only put up 33 in three games. The Indians have not scored more than 13 points in a game this season.
Newton-Conover’s tandem of running backs Octavius Harden and Jamal Coates both made the plays to win in the first two games. Coates pounded the ball two weeks ago helping the Red Devils beat East Lincoln in a 28-21 win, and Harden ran wild last week against Hickory for four total touchdowns — two rushing and two on kick-off returns — and had two more called back because of penalties.
On the other side of the field, St. Stephens’ Tanner Miller turned over the offense to Dylan Beiland the first three games because of a back injury he’s had since the start of practice.
The teams, however, are similar in their roster size. Both had less than 40 players on their varsity roster to start the season, and depth is an issue for both teams. Red Devils coach Nick Bazzle said before the start of the season he is looking for divine intervention to make it through without a major injury.
History favors the Red Devils in this non-conference game. Newton-Conover won four of the last five games between the teams — the Indians’ lone win was a 13-10 victory in 2007. But the Indians held the Red Devils to less than 30 points the last four years and less than 15 points in back-to-back games in 2006 and 2007.