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Fresh off its first win of the season, the Wilson Hall football team is set to host Ben Lippen on Friday at Spencer Field in a matchup of two SCISA 3A programs jostling for postseason position.
With games against First Baptist and Hammond in their rearview mirror, the Barons are in the midst of the most important section of their schedule. Wilson Hall will battle the Falcons on Friday followed by Augusta Christian School next week and Cardinal Newman the week after that. All three are winnable games against teams that have just one or two victories so far this season.
"The way it works out, you start playing conference games in Week 1, and every one of them are important," said Wilson Hall head coach Adam Jarecki, whose team is 1-3 on the season after beating Pinewood Prep 30-14 last week. "We want to focus on this week though and not worry about anyone down the road. We're just worried about Ben Lippen right now. We have to win before we start worrying about jockeying for position or anything like that."
Wilson Hall was in a similar place when these two teams met last year, entering the game with just one victory before falling to Ben Lippen 40-28 in Columbia. The Barons hope the momentum from their win over Pinewood can carry over against the Falcons.
"Well, that win was something we needed," said Jarecki. "We needed to have some success around here for morale more than anything. It's been a good week of practice. We've got a big challenge ahead of us, and we're going to give them our best effort."
For the Barons, that means limiting some of the mistakes they made against Pinewood that kept the Panthers in the game longer than necessary.
"We've still got a lot of improvements to make," said Jarecki. "Last week we turned it over four times, and we can't do that. We had four fumbles and turned over two of them. We're not going to be successful if we do things like that so we have to improve on that."
The Barons hope to get another big game from Emory Moore like he had against Pinewood. He ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and caught two passes for 42 yards.
Ben Lippen brings with it a prolific offense that scored 41 points against Pinewood Prep to open the year, and then 35 points against Augusta Christian just two weeks later. The Falcons are led by a mobile quarterback in Will Taylor, who rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns against the Barons last season.
"They spread it out and give you a lot of different spread sets," said Jarecki. "Taylor can beat you with his feet, and they've got a lot of weapons with the capability to score in a hurry. So we're going to have to do a good job of containing the quarterback and keeping him in the pocket and covering all of our bases in the field."
The Barons will look to Campbell deHoll and Jagger Hebert to stop the Falcons. Both have played well all season, but were particularly impressive against Pinewood.
"Campbell is, of course, our leader (on defense), and Jagger was actually our leading tackler last week," said Jarecki. "Everyone got in on it, and that's what we kinda have to do in order to be successful."
Hebert had 14 tackles and one tackle for loss against Pinewood Prep.
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