By Sonny Jones
It’s the dreaded Friday-Tuesday game schedule for the West Bladen football team. It would have been Friday-Tuesday-Friday if not for Red Springs being in quarantine because of COVID-19 protocols.
The Knights (1-1) open Southeastern Conference play Friday at the Castle against winless Fairmont (0-4), then play at county rival East Bladen (1-3) on Tuesday. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than not playing and it’s the way things work with COVID protocols.
West Bladen snapped a 10-game losing streak and rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to beat East Columbus 26-20 in overtime two weeks ago. It was a much needed win for the Knights and first-year head coach Stanley Williams, who is taking steps to get West Bladen on track to be a competitive program.
Two weeks of practice and coming off a win should give the Knights momentum. WEST BLADEN 24, FAIRMONT 18.
Week 5 record: 13-4
Season record: 45-7 (80%)
Postponed/canceled through Week 5: 26
Here’s the rest of the Week 6 picks.
EAST BLADEN 28, WEST BLADEN 14: That was the pick prior to the COVID-19 postponements. Let’s stick with it for Tuesday’s contest as the Eagles win for the 20th consecutive time.
MIDWAY 33, RICHLANDS 15: The Raiders were scheduled to host St. Pauls in a Southeastern Conference game, but the Bulldogs are in quarantine. So, Midway (3-1) found a nonconference opponent. Ironically, both teams were shut out by South Brunswick, 33-0 for Midway and 15-0 for Richlands. That sounds like a good score.
LEDFORD 28, CLINTON 22: A battle of unbeatens after Clinton’s scheduled game against Red Springs was called off. Ledford (4-0) has outscored its opponents 132-34. Clinton (3-0) has outscored its opponents 144-26. Should be a great game.
WHITEVILLE 35, SOCASTEE 21: The unbeaten Wolfpack (3-0) cross the board and get a win in Myrtle Beach.
GREEN SEA FLOYDS 20, WEST COLUMBUS 12: The Vikings (2-1) haven’t won three games in a season since 2015. They’ll have to wait for win No. 3 this season.
EAST COLUMBUS 28, JONES SENIOR 6: The Gators should get a solid win going into Waccamaw Conference play next week. Jones Senior (0-3) has been outscored 100-0.
PENDER 33, LAKEWOOD 24: The Patriots have shown enough offense this season to win it.
SOUTH COLUMBUS 21, JAMES KENAN 8: Both teams are in search for their first win.
CLEMSON 30, N.C. STATE 24: The Wolfpack has a chance, but can’t believe Clemson will have consecutive subpar performances. Clemson has won eight straight in the series. Have to go with the Tigers.
NORTH CAROLINA 31, GEORGIA TECH 20: It’s been a tough place to play for the Tar Heels over the years, but they did win in Atlanta two seasons ago.
VIRGINIA 31, WAKE FOREST 27: Home field makes the difference as the Cavaliers bounce back Friday night.
DUKE 27, KANSAS 14: The Blue Devils hung on to beat Northwestern last week. Duke should win its final nonconference contest.
EAST CAROLINA 41, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 13: Kudos to the Pirates for the exciting, and needed, win at Marshall last week. They’ll make it two consecutive wins this week.
FAYETTEVILLE STATE 28, VIRGINIA STATE 13: The teams haven’t met since 2017 when Virginia State beat the Broncos 42-19 in the CIAA championship game.
METHODIST 31, SOUTHERN VIRGINIA 20: The Monarchs got a big win at Maryville last week. That momentum should carry over to this week.
UNC PEMBROKE 30, FAIRMONT STATE 21: The Braves have a weapon in Guerra Rivera, who booted five field goals in last week’s win against Glenville State.
CAROLINA 28, HOUSTON 17: It won’t be easy on the road for the Panthers and they’re only 2-9 on Thursday nights, but the team is off to a hot start. #KeepPounding
Sonny Jones can be reached at email@example.com.