#6 Jeremy Campusano and #25 Dayvon Meade of Warwick (Photo: Kim McCaffrey/recruit757)
Warwick looks to right the ship against Bethel
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit757
Warwick Raiders (1-2) at Bethel Bruins (1-2), 12:00 p.m. Saturday
When Warwick met up with Menchville a couple of weeks ago the Raiders could do no wrong. Da’Twon Cox was flying across all directions of the field catching passes from Tyriq Henderson in a 39-7 victory over the Monarchs. Warwick was searching for an early heat check against Hampton last week as their results on the evening didn’t exactly matchup with the expectations losing 28-0 to the Crabbers. At the same time, you can’t win them all and Warwick wasn’t expecting to go 10-0 on the season regardless of their outcome last week. Interesting enough we find ourselves at the mouth of the fourth week of the season as the Raiders prepare for a familiar Peninsula District rival in Bethel.
The Bruins were in the same boat as Warwick; however, they came out losing the first two games of the season. The fact that Bethel lost their first two games of the season doesn’t say much about how they’ll finish this season. Despite their slow start over the last three seasons, the Bruins have still been able to advance to the playoffs all three years.
At the same time, Bethel has dealt with a particular issue when it comes to losing that has made them a frustrating watch over the aforestated timespan. Over the last three seasons (including the first the games of this season), the Bruins have lost a total of 18 contests. Of their 18 losses, the Bruins have lost eight contests by seven points or less including the first two games of the season against Maury and Kecoughtan. Warwick falls right in line with the above statistic. Bethel lost to the Raiders in their only meeting last season by four points.
WHEN BETHEL HAS THE BALL
The Bruins present a very balanced group on the offensive side of the ball so it all depends on the cards dealt for Bethel come Saturday afternoon. Starting running back Ki’sean Storm opened the season rushing for 113 yards on the ground and one touchdown against Maury. The Bruins have grown to expect performances as such from Storm; however, senior quarterback Kendall Hunt emerged last week against Menchville with touchdown passes to Marcus King and Devante Robinson to start the contest. The ground game for the Bruins has been a sure bet so expect Bethel to attack Warwick early and often.
WHEN WARWICK HAS THE BALL
The Raiders also play with a balanced attack on the offensive side of the ball, but it may have been hard to tell based on their game play against the Crabbers last week. Dayvon Meade does most of the heavy lifting in the running game for the Raiders while Tylique Ray is a great change of pace option that adds dynamic lateral speed off the edge for the Raiders. Tyriq Henderson is still the quarterback that threw for 245 yards and four touchdowns two weeks ago against Menchville and the Howard commit Tayshaun Porter is still Warwick’s best pass-catching wide receiver on the Raiders’ roster. Warwick was able to take their lone matchup against Bethel last season so expect the Raiders to switch things up on the offense side of the ball in order to keep the Bruins guessing.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Warwick Raiders 28, Bethel Bruins 24 (September 9, 2016)
The Raiders and Bruins clashed during the third week of the season last year at Todd Stadium with Warwick taking a 28-24 victory over Bethel. Warwick’s victory over Bethel was their first victory over the Bruins since 2010. Starting quarterback Tzion Lucas tossed a 68-yard touchdown to Travis Williams for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter. Both have since graduated with Tayshaun Porter and Tyriq Henderson taking over their respective positions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ki’sean Storm (SR RB 5-10 185)
On Dazz Newsome’s first play in a North Carolina uniform against Louisville last week to open the game, he was able to take a Chazz Surratt pass 54 yards to the Cardinals seven yard line. Newsome was a major threat during his time at Hampton and it’s because Coach Mike Smith didn’t confine him to just one position. Storm is no Dazz Newsome, but outside of Avruis Toussaint, Storm is the most athletic prospect on the Bruins roster. Expect for the Bruins to line Storm up at multiple positions and from multiple sets. The goal is to allow Storm to thrive in space in an effort to exploit the Raiders defense.
Tyriq Henderson (JR QB 6-0 160)
After passing for 245 yards and four touchdowns a couple of weeks ago against Menchville, Henderson followed up going 5-of-15 for 22 yards and no touchdowns on the day against Hampton. Overall, the Raiders turned the ball over four times against the Crabbers and were shut out for the sixth time in the last 10 seasons when facing Hampton. Henderson will need to regain his pocket presence by the time the Raiders take the field against the Bruins on Saturday afternoon. If not, Warwick will be staring down the barrel of a 1-3 record heading into a fifth week matchup with Phoebus.
Kendall Hunt (SR QB 6-1 155)
The Bruins have gone through a trio of quarterbacks since Coach William Beverley took over two seasons ago for Bethel. When Kendall Hunt was just a sophomore, Navarro Price and LeKendrell Lowther were battling it out for quarterback supremacy. Price had the better arm, but Lowther provided a little more athleticism. T.C. Chisley also saw time at quarterback; however, it was Price that solidified the position last season. This is the first season in which Hunt has gotten the opportunity to start and he made the most of his opportunity against Menchville last week. The Bethel product will get to try his hand at Warwick in hopes to continue what he started against Menchville. Big players show up in big games. This one may not have the appeal and bright lights attached to it, but it’s a must-win game for Hunt and the Bruins.
– Brandon Mitchell