#54 Indian River lineman Chris Shaw (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
A season is on the line as Indian River hosts Western Branch
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Western Branch (2-2) at Indian River (2-2) 6:00 p.m. Friday
Against Great Bridge, Indian River got away with making a lot of mistakes.
While the Braves won 16-13 against the Wildcats, head coach Marcus Ferebee knows that his Braves have played too many close games and have given away too many opportunities.
“(Friday, we played) real sloppy. We had five turnovers: three fumbles, two interceptions,” Ferebee said. “We only had one practice; literally one day… that was Tuesday when we were in the gym. On Wednesday, practice time got taken up by team pictures and on Thursday, the district cancelled practice. There’s no excuse. It’s still football. Blocking and tackling. We can’t have five turnovers like that and expect to win a game.”
In their first game, the Braves allowed a Deep Creek comeback and lost. In their second game, they toyed with Grassfield and took an overtime loss. A two-loss team is not going to make the playoffs in Region 5A unless something drastic happens. Coach Ferebee has to have his team prepared for that opportunity. In the meantime, they take one game at a time, like every team should.
“How you handle adversity is the measure of a good team. How do you fight to the end? We’ve been doing it all year. We just came up short twice. Last week, we were able to come out with a victory. We return 19 starters in the fall, so we have something to build on.”
Linebacker Braylon Payne, lineman Noah Wallace, and lineman Stephon Dubose (Old Dominion) are the only starters who aren’t slated to return this fall.
The work of freshman quarterback Tyler Allison (2024 QB 6-3 190), Zakai Minggia (2022 ATH 5-8 160), and Ty Whichard (2024 DT 6-2 275) hasn’t gone unnoticed. This isn’t a team that’s rebuilding, but it is a young team that caught a few bad breaks when there wasn’t much room for error.
“We have to clean up the mistakes and be a lot sharper than we were (against Great Bridge). If we go out there and execute, everything will take care of itself.”
Indian River hosts Western Branch Friday night at 6:15 for Senior Night.
– Andy Hilton