ASHEBORO — One of the top rivalries in all of Randolph County will take place Friday night as the Asheboro High School Blue Comets welcome Asheboro neighbor Southwestern Randolph to Lee J. Stone Stadium.
Both teams are coming off disappointing showings and need to right the ship quickly as the conference season draws near.
Asheboro, under first-year coach Calvin Brown, is 1-3 this season, earning a season-opening win over Albemarle, which handed Southwestern Randolph a 32-6 shellacking last Friday night. It was the first loss of the season for SWR, which won its first three contests.
“First, I need to apologize to the Hall of Fame group, that right there is not what we put on this grass,” SWR coach Seth Baxter said after the loss to the Bulldogs, which came when the first class for the SWR Hall of Fame was inducted. “I told the kids everything that we worked on the last several years, we just took a huge step back. It was a bad performance all the way around. Every phase of the game. This is not who we are and I’m very disappointed.”
The Cougars were especially challenged in the defensive secondary, where Albemarle threw for 354 yards. Most of the pass attempts were simple go routes and the Bulldogs’ speed and athleticism were too much for the Cougars to stop.
Asheboro has a similar offense with quarterback Logan Loughlin and wideouts Elijah Woodle, Amari Godwin and Aiden Robertson.
“Asheboro throws 30, 35 times a game, they have the same athletes on the field and it will be a tremendous battle for us to withstand those types of athletes,” Baxter said. “I was worried about their (Albemarle’s) athleticism. Their skill people ran right by us. It was go route after go route after go route and they got past us.”
The Cougars actually took a 6-0 lead just seconds before halftime when they returned a fumble 20 yards for a score with 11.4 seconds left. But the Bulldogs returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown as the halftime buzzer sounded and then came out and dominated play in the second half for their first win of the season.
“In the game of football, the most important position is the line of scrimmage and whether they had a three-man front or a four-man front, they just blew us up,” Baxter said. “We are going to have to go back and fix things quickly.”
Brown, whose team lost 53-14 to Randleman last week, says physical and mental mistakes cost the Blue Comets in that game against one of the most talented teams in the area.
“With our quarterback and athletes, I hope there are some things we can take advantage of,” Brown said of the upcoming battle with SWR. “But you know Coach Baxter and his staff are working on ways to slow us down.”
The game will be the Homecoming contest for the Blue Comets, which are scheduled to unveil a new video scoreboard at the stadium.