The Pisgah football team could have at times this week mistaken New Hope’s game film for its own.
Both teams are running a similar flexbone style offense, and so far, both teams have ran it effectively.
“They do what we do,” said Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt. “You know what they want to do, but, you know it works, too.”
The teams square off Friday night at New Hope’s Jack Mitchell Stadium at 7 p.m. It’s an important early-season Class 3A Region 7 game between a pair of undefeated teams.
Pisgah (2-0, 1-0) is trying for its second consecutive 3-0 start while New Hope (2-0, 0-0) is going for its first in 30 years.
Friday’s game is the 27th all-time meeting between the teams in a series Pisgah leads 19-7. The Eagles have won the last three meetings, including a defensive-oriented 13-0 triumph last season. Pisgah led only 6-0 until returning an interception for a touchdown on the game’s final play.
Friday’s winner gets a leg up in the Class 3A Region 7 standings playoff race. New Hope is playing its first region game — the Indians had a bye last week — while Pisgah opened region play last week with a 51-8 victory over Brindlee Mountain.
“This one is big,” Pruitt said. “It doesn’t matter how we have to do it, if it’s pitching a shutout and winning 3-0 or having to win it in a shootout, we’ve just got to win. This is the toughest test we’ve had. We’ve got to go 1-0 Friday night.”
New Hope is under the direction of new head coach Trey Sullivan, who was the offensive coordinator at Mae Jemison last season. New Hope, who posted back-to-back 1-9 seasons in 2017 and 2018, is averaging 35.5 points per game while allowing 15 this season. The Indians rallied from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Holly Pond 44-30 in Week 0 before shutting out Section 27-0 in Week 1.
Mae Jemison transfer junior running back Duvine Beebe starred in New Hope’s season-opening win, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He sat out the Indians’ win over Section with an injury. Pruitt expects Beebe to be back in the lineup on Friday.
Beebe teams with quarterback Dylan Selvage and running back Zach Blackwood to form a talented backfield, Pruitt said. Selvage and Blackwood both ran for a touchdown against Section and Blackwood also caught a touchdown pass from Selvage.
“They’ve got a lot of dynamic playmakers,” Pruitt said. “We have to know where those three are, but at the same time, not get caught with the eye candy motion and read our keys and play disciplined defense.”