By Sonny Jones
There’s always excitement when opening a season. Everyone is undefeated. Everyone believes their team can compete for a championship.
Then, the first game is played and that undefeated season is gone just like that.
South Columbus and Wallace-Rose Hill crashed the season-opening party for the West Bladen and East Bladen football teams last week. South Columbus spotted the Knights a touchdown before scoring the next 34 points in a 34-13 victory at The Castle. Wallace-Rose Hill broke a 7-all tie in the second quarter with 54 unanswered points for a 61-7 triumph against the Eagles.
It wasn’t the start either Bladen squad desired, but there’s still nine more games left in the regular season and a few more weeks until Southeastern Athletic Conference play begins. It will be interesting to watch how the Knights and Eagles react to those losses.
West Bladen, which showed solid defensive play in two scrimmages, couldn’t keep South Columbus speedsters Demonta Gore and Domnick Johnson from getting around the corner. Each scored twice and each scored on runs of more than 50 yards. The Stallions had 418 yards rushing.
“First game, we’re still relatively young,” West Bladen coach Stanley Williams said. “We don’t have a lot seniors. We’re looking forward to better days.
“We know defense is our strength. When the offense is not doing what they’re supposed to do we’ve still got to keep our head up. We created two turnovers. We’re going to be alright.”
The Knights are scheduled to play at West Columbus on Friday. The Vikings shut out Union 55-0 in their opener. It was Union’s first game since the 2020 spring season. The school didn’t field a team in 2021.
For East Bladen, the match-up against the defending 2-A East champion went like last season’s opener. Wallace-Rose Hill beat the Eagles 62-16 in the 2021 opener in Elizabethtown. Friday, East Bladen lost four fumbles and had a pass interception returned for a touchdown.
East Bladen is scheduled to play at South Columbus on Friday. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles’ defense can contain the outside speed of the Stallion runners.
While the first week of play didn’t go as desired for the Bladen teams, it’s time to move on to week two and watch for the progress.
There’s a lot of football yet to be played.
MONDAY’S PICK TO CLICK
Max Scherzer threw seven shutout innings July 27 against the New York Yankees. Less than a month later he’s back on the mound for the Mets against the Bronx Bombers who haven’t done much bombing this month. He may allow a run or two, but it will be enough for another Mets win.
SUNDAY’S PICK: Scottie Scheffler trails by 2 shots after the third round of the PGA’s BMW Championship. He hasn’t shot below 67, but that changes in the final round. Let’s go with a 66 and a come-from-behind win. RESULTS: Scheffler started his round with a bogey, ended it with a bogey and finished with a 70. He tied for third with Xander Schauffele at 11-under, which was three shots behind winner Patrick Cantley.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
• LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Chinese Taipei vs. Aguadulce, Panama, 1 p.m., ESPN
• LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Nolensville, Tenn. vs. Hagerstown, Ind., 3 p.m., ESPN
• LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Vancouver, British Columbia vs. Matamoros, Mexico, 5 p.m., ESPN
• LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES: Pearland, Texas vs. Honolulu, Hawaii, 7 p.m., ESPN2
• MLB: NY Mets at NY Yankees, 7 p.m., MLBN
• NFL PRESEASON: Atlanta at NY Jets, 8 p.m., ESPN
Sonny Jones can be reached at [email protected] and follow on Twitter @FOSonnyJones.