New era of Warhawk football kicks off with tough Carroll

Event date: 9/1/2017 7:00 PM Export event

New era of Warhawk football kicks off with tough Carroll
The Rob Armstrong era of Daleville Warhawks football will officially begin this Friday as the always-tough Carroll Eagles come to town.Carroll is coming off of a 12-win 2016 and a physical group of players return.“They had a great season last year,” Armstrong said of Carroll. “Coach (Roger) McDonald does a great job over there. When he was at Valley they were a really physical team and since he’s been at Carroll he’s done a great job of getting them to play that way, too.“If you ask me about Carroll, the No. 1 thing about them is they’ve really been physical. I love what they do and they’re a lot like what we want to be.”While Daleville graduated 18 seniors from the 2016 season, Carroll is also suffering similar attrition. The Eagles return just five starters on offense and four on defense. The biggest loss for the Eagles is that of 2,000-yard rusher CJ Roberts and quarterback Alex Reeves.Despite those losses, Carroll returns its entire starting offensive line and junior running back Jonathan Fells, who rushed for 576 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore despite missing half of the season due to injury.“They’re going to line up and run the ball straight at you,” Armstrong said of Carroll. “It’s a heck of a way to start the season.”Armstrong said one of the keys to stopping the Carroll offense will be staying disciplined and to make sure to not over-commit to stopping the run.“They try to get you lined up wrong committing so many guys to stopping the run and then they throw the ball over the top of your head,” Armstrong said. “We have to get some stops on defense and limit their big plays. When they get 5-7 yard runs we just have to make the tackle and not panic. Keep them out of the end-zone.”Fortunately for Daleville, the flex-bone offense that the Warhawks feature is a remedy for a potent opposing offense, but only if the flex-bone is working.“First downs are key for us and staying patient and taking what the defense gives us,” Armstrong said. “One way we can help our defense is keeping their defense on the field, chewing up yards, chewing up clock and getting first downs.”Daleville struggled with getting any success offensively early against Carroll last season and that led to a 49-13 blowout Carroll victory. Lack of success offensively could really hurt the Warhawks this season, especially with so many starters playing both offense and defense.“Early on in the game last year they just weren’t able to get much success offensively,” Armstrong said of the Carroll game last year. “We have to continue to get first downs and keep their defense on the field. We have so many guys that play both ways that the more we keep their defense on the field, the better.”
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