The Transylvania Times -

Brevard Faces New Challenge In Athletic Trojan Team


September 21, 2017

One week after closing out a last-minute win over the scrappy Owen Warhorses, the Brevard Blue Devils take to the road to face a new opponent with a similar resumé.

This week’s opponent is the Chase Trojans, and much like Owen, their 1-3 record isn’t indicative of how dangerous they can be.

Chase, based in Forest City, plays in the Southwestern Conference along with South Point and reigning three-time 2A state champion Shelby.

The Trojans are battle-tested, having faced Polk County and Bessemer City so far this season – both of whom are undefeated.

So, while the Blue Devils have played solid football over the past month, they’ll be in for a tough task come Friday night.

“They’re going to be an athletic football team,” said Brevard head coach Craig Pritchett. “It’s going to be a different type of challenge for us. They run a lot out of the shotgun formation and have a good balance of run and pass.”

The catalyst for the Trojan offense is senior quarterback Xavier Williams.

Williams poses a combination of size and speed as a playcaller and can also do damage with his arm or his legs.

Two weeks ago against East Henderson, Williams threw two TD passes and rushed for another to lead Chase to their first win of the season over the Eagles.

The Blue Devils have faced some dual-threat quarterbacks this season, but Pritchett said Williams is probably the most athletic.

“He’s more dangerous with his feet, especially when you have to account for him taking off and running the ball. But he also gives you fits because he’ll scramble around in the pocket and it’s hard to ask guys to cover receivers for six or seven seconds while he’s running around. We’re going to have to be disciplined on defense,” he said.

For Brevard, with the exception of the season-opener against Mountain Heritage, the offense has scored at least 27 points in each of their games.

What’s been impressive hasn’t been just the balance of the run and passing game, but the array of players who come up with big weeks.

Mitchell Johnson has spread the ball around to at least five different receivers in each of Brevard’s last four games.

On the ground, the Blue Devils have shuffled through a stable of running backs and are averaging five yards per carry on the year as a team.

Some players have emerged due to injury and having more opportunity, while others have had big games due to favorable matchups.

Overall, Pritchett said the solid play of the offensive line and quality game planning has led to productivity across the board.

“It’s nice when you’ve got different types of running backs – with Stevi (Benjamin) and (Ethan) Shook who are power runners – and Anthony (Fields) who is more of an open-field guy. The same goes for receivers, with a possession receiver like Aiden Green; Breylon (Owens) who can get behind a defense and Luke (Ellenberger) who is good in the open field. It’s fun to have those kind of options,” Pritchett said.

Sitting at 4-1 with the only loss coming to a very strong Mountain Heritage team, Brevard has done all they can to position themselves well nearing the midpoint of the season.

With Chase being the last game before Brevard enters conference play, Pritchett clearly wants a win against the Trojans, but also wants to see his team clean up the little mistakes moving forward.

“So far, the teams we’ve played have been good, but once we hit conference play we’re going to see better teams. We can’t have inconsistencies. Hopefully between (Chase) and the open week we’ll hit conference ready to roll and be playing our best football,” he said.


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