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Game of the Week: Southwestern Randolph vs Eastern Randolph

The first games of the 2017 football season will take place on Friday and teams across the county are gearing up. There are a few cross-county match ups this week, but one stands out above the others. The Southwestern Randolph Cougars will open their 2017 season against the Eastern Randolph Wildcats in this week’s “Game of the Week”.

Some might ask why SWR vs ER got the “Game of the Week” spot over Randleman vs Asheboro, well the reason is simple. Southwestern Randolph and Eastern Randolph will be going head to head with completely different coaching staffs from last season. Eastern Randolph’s former head coach Seth Baxter departed during the spring to take over the head coaching duties at Southwestern Randolph. The Wildcats brought in former Wildcat Charles Arrington to replace Baxter. Arrington was a two-way starter for the Wildcats on their 1983 championship team.

While this game may be focused on the coaches, it will be up to the players to execute plays on the field. Southwestern Randolph will rely on quarterback Brayden Jones to lead them down the field. Jones will have targets waiting down field in wide receivers Braxton Davis and Ben Mull. Davis is a dual threat on the offensive side of the ball as he can also move the ball up the field in the running back position. Running back Tyler Hoover can get the field quickly and make things difficult for the opposing defense. Paxton Staker, Mikey Miller, Brighton Long, Will Moss, and Dakota Boggs will anchor the Cougars’ defense and look to hold off the Wildcats’ offense for as long as possible.

Eastern Randolph has several players who can be successful on both sides of the ball this season. Senior Tyrese Cassidy made several great plays for the Wildcats last season, look for him to be a consistent target for the new quarterback. Senior Kody Wilder was key at the middle linebacker position for the Wildcats last year totaling 52 tackles. He can play the quarterback position as well, but time will tell where Coach Arrington chooses to utilize Wilder. Jashaun Reed is another Wildcat who can play on both sides of the ball. Last season, he tallied 186 yards as a running back behind then senior Taireise Russell. Defensively, the Wildcats will rely on senior Patrick Lennon who recorded 95 solo tackles and 120 total tackles last season.

Currently, the Wildcats hold a thirteen-game winning streak over the Southwestern Randolph Cougars including a 28-14 win in 2016. We will have to wait until Friday to see if Seth Baxter and the Cougars can end the streak or if Charles Arrington and the Wildcats keep the streak going.

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