In the era of COVID-19, things change rapidly and football is no different as the Enterprise Wildcats’ (2-0) scheduled home game against the Davidson Warriors (0-2), on Sept. 11, will now be played on the road.
After a decision from Davidson’s school system to not allow the school to make the 165-mile trip to Enterprise, the Wildcats had a decision to make. The Wildcats could either simply cancel the game – and earn a forfeit – or amend the contract between the schools and head down to Mobile. Enterprise coach Rick Darlington said the Wildcats just want to play the game.
So, instead of Enterprise paying Davidson a small amount to come to Enterprise this season and in 2021, instead the contract was amended to a home-and-home series with Enterprise traveling to Mobile this season and Davidson returning the favor in 2021.
Enterprise will now have traveled to Mobile three times in the past five games – dating back to the final two games of the 2019 season – but Darlington said he isn’t looking at this road trip as an adversity.
“No, it’s not a big deal,” Darlington said. “We get to go down there and eat a nice pre-game meal and have fun and play a football game.”
Enterprise is coming off a 42-13 pounding of region rival Dothan last week, while Davidson fell 22-7 to Murphy. The Warriors typically play their home games at the historic Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, but scheduling conflicts will force Enterprise and Davidson to play at Baker High School’s Hornet Field.
While Enterprise dominated Dothan in all phases of the game last week, Darlington said there is still plenty of things to clean up. One of those things is the fact that the Wildcats went just 2-for-9 on third downs and fumbled five times, though they only lost one of those fumbles.
“We just want to keep getting better,” Darlington said. “Make less mistakes, play with better fundamentals and we had a lot of fumbles the other night. We only lost one but we can’t put the ball on the ground.”
The Enterprise defense was relentless in its pass rush against Dothan and one of the stars of the game was senior linebacker Tanner Rogers, coming off a broken leg in his junior year, with eight tackles and two sacks.
“I thought it was great. (EHS Defensive Coordinator) Jed (Kennedy) has some great blitzes and stuff and Tanner was able to get in there and make some plays.
“We’re just glad he’s getting to play. We knew last year he was going to be a good player for us and he’s such a good person. A lot of our best players are really good people. He had that broken leg that put him out last year and I hated that for him.”
In both of Enterprise’s first two games the Wildcats have spread the ball around in the running game and junior quarterback Quentin Hayes has flourished running the Wilcats’ hybrid offense.
“It’s how it is. I never wanted to feature just one guy,” Darlington said of his offense. “So much of it is option stuff so you don’t really know who’s going to get it and it’s up to (Hayes).”
While the junior has been stellar to start the season, Darlington said that he can be even better.
“I thought he started pressing a little bit in the second quarter (against Dothan). I think Quentin has to get into a place where he plays the games like he practices,” Darlington said. “He’s very confident, very smooth and he reads his way to the things and just lets it come to him and doesn’t predetermine anything (in practice). He’ll keep getting better. He has the work ethic, the desire and the humility to keep getting better.”