East St. John’s high-powered offense was limited to two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 30-13 loss a week ago against St. James.
“I think it was shocking to everyone that we didn’t score many,” East St. John coach Brandon Brown said. “However, I tip my hat to St. James. They came in with a very good defensive game plan and they executed it very well. Their players were always in the right spot and always made the right plays. They negated some of the things we were trying to do.”
East St. John was its own worst enemy, turning the ball over, committing crucial penalties that kept St. James drives alive and giving up a safety on a bad center snap on a punt from deep in ESJ territory.
“We had our chances,” Brown said. “We dropped some balls and things didn’t go our way. We had some penalties early-on, but I tip my hat off to those guys.
“We’ve been in the situation where we’ve been the one to kind of being like the bully, per se. They came in and pushed us around.”
Some of the mistakes, Brown said, have been around for a while.
“I’ll be honest; those things have been happening to us since Day One. St. James did a good job of exposing it. We haven’t been doing a good job of protecting the ball. We haven’t been able to control the penalty issue,” the East St. John coach said.
Although Wright may been winless, the team is not without talent, according to Brown.
“They’ve been known to be a championship-caliber ball club in basketball and it looks like some of those same skilled guys from basketball are playing football,” said Brown. “Those skilled guys are phenomenal. They have some of the best skilled guys we will see all year.
“What scares me about those guys is just being unfamiliar with them. We don’t know much about them.”
The line of scrimmage, Brown said, is where the game may be decided.
“I think our advantage is up front,” he said. “I think up front, our offensive and defensive lines can go in and if we can execute the right way, we will have a good shot.”
Defensively, Wright employs a 4-2-5 scheme and likes to bring a lot of pressure, according to Brown.
For the Wildcats, Friday night’s game will be a matter of just putting the St. James game behind them, said Brown.
“We have to get our kids back into a winning habit,” Brown said. “We have to forget St. James. It’s over. Other than the power points and bragging rights, it really doesn’t mean much.
“We can’t have an undefeated season. That was one of our goals. We just have to pick our pants up and go to work.”