Baltimore against Mt Pleasant
Putting together back to back wins over the past two Friday’s has the Ragin’ Bull football program poised to make a stretch for Coach Marty Paxton like none other in the schools brief history. The HRHS team sits in a three way tie for first place with two well established programs, A.L Brown and Concord. All three programs are 3-0 in SPC play, and a date with each other over the final 4 weeks of the season. Senior running back Brian Baltimore is on a pace to exceed 2,000 yards rushing this year. He is averaging 160.1 yards per game while leading the SPC in rushing. The fear is what happens if the opposition finds a way to stop the run game. The offense is generating a very respectable 235 yards per game on the ground. However, the Bulls are only averaging 29.1 yards per game through the air, making the offense a little one dimensional.
The game this week is against North West Cabarrus who lost a close game against JM Robinson, 7-10 last week and an earlier contest to Concord 0-18. NW Cabarrus is now 1-2 in conference. Both Concord and AL Brown are still in the future for Hickory Ridge. To give some sense of comparison, HR beat Mt Pleasant last week 20-14, while NW was able to take down the Tigers 29-15 in week 6. This weeks game should be a closely fought battle between to programs looking to land a playoff spot just behind Concord and AL Brown. The big difference is that if Hickory Ridge can win on Friday, they still own their own destiny to an out right win of the SPC title.
Defense and special teams will certainly determine the winner as the 2 offenses produce very similar numbers. NW averages 15 points per game compared to the Bulls putting up an average of 17 points per game. Defense is quite different. NW allows only 15 PPG, to HR’s 23 PPG. The Ragin’s Bulls will certainly need a focused effort on the road this week.