By: Chris Long and Joel Bryant
7 days ago, we thought we knew what we were talking about when it came to Husky Football. Heritage was coming off a very impressive victory over Green Hope and it was widely believed that they would sweep this season’s non-conference schedule. As you may have heard, that belief was quickly put to rest on Friday. The Rolesville Rams, playing in their first season with seniors on the roster, humiliated the Huskies. It was a complete domination, ending in a second half shutout. The team that we saw tear apart Green Hope was nowhere to be found. The loss threw the entire school for a loop. On Thursday, the Huskies look to rebound away at Knightdale, the only other team to lose to Rolesville since it opened.
Last week’s loss closed many eyes in the media, and experts are understandably far from sold on this team. Basically, we’re back to where we started, hence the title of this preview. There is no telling which Husky team will show up this week: the one that beat Green Hope or the one that lost to Rolesville.
Knightdale High School, located in the town of Knightdale, opened in 2004. A member of GNRC, Knightdale is consistently among the best schools in their conference. Their football team is just two years removed from an 11-2 season in which they made it to the third round of the state playoffs. Last season, the Knights took a big step back, finishing 3-8, including the loss to Rolesville.
This season, Knightdale got off to a good start with a 35-34 overtime victory over the Cap 8’s Sanderson. In week 2, they were handled by Millbrook by a score of 42 to 20. It should be noted that putting up 20 points against Millbrook’s defense isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
History vs. Knightdale
Heritage is 2-0 against Knightdale, following a 38-0 blowout last year and the incredible 23-22 upset over the 11-2 Knights two years ago. But as we learned on Friday, we shouldn’t set any expectations based on how things went in prior seasons.
The following is the discussion segment, where Joel and Chris will debate key aspects of tomorrow’s game.
Chris: Will the secondary do a better job this week against Knighdale’s passing attack? Last week, the Husky secondary was very weak in covering the opposing passing attack, and let in three Rolesville passing touchdowns. To have success against Knightdale the secondary has to tighten up their game.
Joel: Will the offense get in rhythm? For two straight games now, Heritage’s offense only showed up in the first half. To be competitive from here on out, the Huskies are going to have to put up more points than 24 and 21. Their struggles are a result of both a completely ineffective running game and unwillingness to go away from the run when it’s not working. To get where they need to be, they need to rely more on the pass and trust that Gunnar can deliver.
Players To Watch
C: Jamicah Hopkins: It’s only a matter of time until the 6’5 receiver becomes one of the best red zone threats in the area. Will Knightdale be his breakout game?
J: The offensive line. I’m putting the entire offensive line on my watch list because they didn’t exactly perform well against Rolesville. The line needs to give Gunnar more time to go through his reads and make the best throw. If they can give him better protection, I promise you he will make this offense flourish.
C: Heritage 23, Knightdale 21. The Huskies rebound with a very close victory and restore our faith in them.
J: Knightdale 27, Heritage 24. I can’t bring myself to predict a win after watching Rolesville shut our offense down and run all over our defense like actual Rams.
Location: Knightdale High School