ZCHS preps for rival Kinston in non-region clash

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 26, 2013

It has been a rough year so far down in Jack for the Zion Chapel Rebels, but coach Bradley Bowers is optimistic about his team’s chances this Friday against the Kinston Bulldogs.

Even though his team lost last week to Highland Home 55-6, coach Bowers saw a lot to be happy with in the game. “We actually played a pretty decent first half until about six minutes to go,” Bowers said. “It was 13-0, and we had to punt. We punted them down insider their own seven. We came out on defense, thinking we could get a good stop and score before the half, but we lined up wrong, and they had a 93-yard touchdown.”

“At times in the first half, we looked like a pretty good football team,” Bowers said. “At others, we looked like what we are, which is an inexperienced football team.”

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This week’s game holds a special significance for the Rebels as Coffee County bragging rights are on the line. Bowers said that his team is aware of the added pressure. “These games are always the ones you circle, being so close to one another.”

Historically, games against Kinston have always been tight for the Rebels. “It’s always a close game,” Bowers said. “It doesn’t matter when we play Kinston. That’s what I’m trying to prepare the team for.”

As it is with most high school teams, Bowers is focusing on getting some consistency from his young team. “You never know which team is going to show up,” Bowers said. “We’re going to try to go down and play our best game of football.”

Bowers primary concern will be stopping the Bulldog offense. Kinston has scored 41 points in each of its last two games and attacks opposing defenses with a variety of looks.

“They run everything from the old single wing look all the way to an empty backfield,” Bowers said. “Kinston tries to get you in a numbers game.”

Zion Chapel leads the all-time series with Kinston 22-16 and has beaten the Bulldogs in each of the last two seasons.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. this Friday in Kinston.