By Michael Bielecki
VERO BEACH – The St. Edward’s Pirates face their toughest challenge of the season Friday night when they host Warner Christian Academy, the fourth-rated 1-B team in the state.
Three games into the season St. Edward’s Coach Brad Fojtik is excited about the contest this week facing his 2-1 team.
“This is the beginning of our district play,” said Fojtik. “We’re facing a good team, and good teams want to play other good teams.”
The Pirates have outscored their opponents 105-30 this year, and are ready for a true test. “The coaching staff has done a great job getting the kids up for this one,” said Fojtik. “As far as overall team speed, this is the fastest team we’ll face. They run a Wing-T offense, and when run correctly it’s tough to stop at this level.”
Warner, 2-1, has a major offensive weapon by the name of Breon Allen. This 5-foot-8 junior has 230 yards rushing and 3 TDs, and he may remind some of the Pirate faithful of Jay Ingram (circa 1995) with his speed and vision. They will line Allen up at running back and split end, and try to get him the ball whenever they can.
SES answers with the dynamic duo of Cameron Budde and Kollin Kite. These running backs have combined for 525 yards rushing and 9 TDs through the first three games.
Coach Fojtik approaches this game as if Warner were undefeated.
“They beat two good teams, but dropped a game to Jensen Beach,” said Fojtik. “He (Warner Coach Andy North) looked like he was trying some different things in that one, and playing players at alternate positions. It’s hard for me to apply that loss to their record, because he’s really got that program rolling up there.”
Warner is a young team with only a few seniors on their roster. One of the seniors, however, is a standout talent. Defensive end Taylor Ayers leads their team with 4 sacks, and he’s one of the guys that will need to be neutralized if the Pirates are going to win.
This is an important game for both teams, as is every game from here on out. The Pirates will have a difficult time with the team speed of Warner, but Warner will have a hard time stopping the ground game of SES without committing eight or nine guys to the line of scrimmage. Defense will win this football game, and the Pirates will need to create some turnovers to win.