Wildcats won’t take 1-5 Blue Devils lightly

Darren Frantz

FRONT ROYAL — Warren County coach Brian Bush is well aware of how dangerous a team Culpeper can be.

The first-year football coach said he’s made sure his players understand that Culpeper, which has one win this season, cannot be taken lightly when the teams meet tonight at 7 p.m. in Front Royal.

“I talked to our boys all the time about, that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Bush said. “We’ve got to treat them all just the same, and take care of what we can take care of and work on us. And show up ready to play. And just be ready for a dogfight now matter who it is.”

The Blue Devils (1-5) are coming off a 27-16 victory over Skyline, and Bush said they have momentum from that win.

Culpeper played a difficult schedule to start the year, and suffered a set back early in the season when starting quarterback Eric Wilson suffered an injury.

The Blue Devils moved wide receiver Capone Hoffman to quarterback, switched up their offense and seem to be hitting their stride.

“They moved a couple pieces around, but I think they found somewhat of an identity,” Bush said. “And they’re going to come right at us and not hold back.”

One of the big keys to the game will be the play of the offensive and defensive lines.

Bush said they have some size up front and will be a challenge for the Wildcats.

Defensively, the Blue Devils are led by senior Lewis Chapman.

Bush said the Blue Devils are aggressive on defense.

“They got some really good linebackers,” Bush said. “They got some defensive ends that will set the edge. And we got to make sure that we stay on our blocks and get to where we’re supposed to be. And concentrate on coming off the ball, because they are and they will. And be ready for the blitz, because those linebackers they’ll hit the hole and they’ll hit it hard.”

The Wildcats (3-3) are coming off of a hard-fought 28-25 win over Brentsville.

Bush said he was pleased with what he saw from his squad in the game.

“I thought we played hard,” Bush said. “We played with passion. We had a lot of adversity and we overcame it. And we were prepared to fight because Brentsville — they’re good. I think we overcame that adversity and it sort of showed that we can do it. And if we play together and we play hard nothing will hold us back.”

Warren County senior running back Darren Frantz had a solid rushing game against Brenstville. Frantz said that he feels like the Wildcats are playing really well at this point in the season.

Frantz said that the team has really come together well.

“As a group I feel like we have good chemistry,” Frantz said. “Our morale is there. We all keep our heads up. We don’t let each other get down on ourselves — and that’s big — and boosts morale for us throughout the game.”

Culpeper and Warren County are both new to the Northwestern District this season. Frantz said it’s the first time he’s played against Culpeper and he’s looking forward to it.

“It is kind of refreshing,” Frantz said. “It’s exciting because you don’t know what to expect. So you just got to give it your all and hope that’s good enough.”