PICKENS — The Blue Flame and Green Wave will add another chapter to this version of Pickens County’s football rivalry to open the 2014 season Aug. 22 with more than bragging rights on the line.
The first game of the season in high school football is always a tough way to start as there’s little to go on as far as game film is concerned, but both coaching staffs have a pretty good idea what to expect Friday night.
“They’re pretty sound from what we’ve seen from scrimmages and jamborees. We just haven’t seen any of their special teams yet,” Pickens High School Head Coach Chad Seaborn said. “I know we expect them to execute well and they’ve got a lot of talent too, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Easley’s Green Wave doesn’t have much more to work with in preparation for the first game either.
“We’ve watched some film from scrimmages and jamborees and we’re expecting the same typical Pickens football,” Easley Coach Grayson Howell said. “Fundamentally, they’re sound and that means we have to execute on both sides of the ball, especially with Coach Wyche in the mix. There’s no telling how he’ll have their offense lining up.”
Pace, according to Seaborn, could be a big factor in the game for Pickens.
“They’re an explosive team and are going to be running some no huddle, hurry up type offense and can put up a ton of 25 to 30 yard plays,” Seaborn said. “So we have to keep the ball out of their hands which means we have to be able to run it. The more we can control the ball the less chance their offense has to go up and down the field.”
Slowing Easley down may be a tough challenge for a team that has struggled defensively in the offseason.
“We’ve had some defensive struggles, especially tackling in the preseason,” Seaborn said. “What should have been eight to 10 yard plays ended up being touchdowns and we have to do a better job of tackling.”
For Howell it’s the basics that will be the most crucial part of Friday night for the Green Wave.
“They’re definitely well coached which means they aren’t going to make many mistakes and we have to take advantage when we can,” Howell said. “It’s no secret they’re going to try and establish the running game and when we have the ball we have to execute.”
Kickoff is at 8 p.m. with Pickens hosting.