Marcus Smith (4) turns upfield. 

The Daleville Warhawks (0-3, 0-1) return home this week for a region showdown with the New Brockton Gamecocks (2-1, 0-1) this Friday, Sept. 10, in a Class 3A, Region 2 game.

Both New Brockton and Daleville are in search of their first region win of the season and the Warhawks are looking to put the first check in the overall “win” column this season. Daleville is coming off a frustrating 50-6 loss, while New Brockton also struggled in a 27-0 region loss to Opp last week.

The Warhawk defense has struggled mightily against the run this season giving up an average of 265 yards on the ground per game and more than 10 yards per attempt. Meanwhile, New Brockton has found a lot of success running the ball, including rushing for more than 400 yards against Georgiana two weeks ago. Daleville will have to contend with not just a trio of productive running backs in Jordan Tacey, Jamarcus Brown and Drew Cashin but also fleet-footed quarterback Kaden Cupp. Cupp has rushed for 347 yards and four touchdowns so far this season.

The Warhawk best defense against the New Brockton offense could very well be its own offense. Daleville has been able to find some success at times in the running game but mistakes and penalties have led to some wasted opportunities for the Warhawks. Still, quarterback Omarion Pinckney has rushed for 340 yards and four touchdowns in three games. Fullback Jeremiah Moore also provides matchup problems for defenses and has rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the Warhawk defense.

Daleville’s offense hasn’t been able to find much success in the passing game until Pinckney connected with freshman Marcus Smith on a 55-yard pass last week. The Warhawks will look to find more success through the air this week to keep the Gamecock defense off-balance.

Daleville has just one win in its last 14 games and that was a forfeit win last season.

Still, New Brockton coach Zack Holmes knows the Warhawks are not a team to be overlooked, especially because of their “triple option” style of offense that also incorporates other formations.

“What they do offensively is a challenge,” Holmes said. “It’s ‘triple option’ football and a lot of times everyone thinks, ‘Oh, well they’re ‘triple option’ so that’s all they do’ but it’s not.

“They run a very complex offense with a lot of different plays. The ‘triple option’ is a part of that and that can be maddening defensively. If you mess up one time they take advantage of that. The whole thing is built on that and they do a good job of it.”

Despite the lopsided scores that Daleville has suffered this season, Holmes said he wants to remind his team that regardless of the final score the Warhawks were hanging with Elba 14-6 at halftime.

“Everyone needs to remember this is a team that was 14-6 at halftime against Elba,” Holmes emphasized. “They do a really good job offensively and defensively they play really hard and get after it.

“For us, it’s the same things. We have to run the football, win the kicking game and out-team them. We have to do all of those things to give ourselves a chance to win.”

Holmes said he wants to see his team better prepared this week, as well.

“We have to prepare better and that starts with me and goes through the coaches down to the players,” Holmes said. “It’s always about us. I tell the guys that all the time.

“It’s all about us and what we do and how we prepare. That’s the focus every week but we’re going to really make sure we do everything we need to do to prepare the right way this week.”

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