FLORENCE, S.C. – The Carolina Havoc defense has been on an upward trend of late, culminating in last week’s 71-0 shutout of Jensen Beach.
The unit might face its toughest challenge of the season this week in Charlotte – not to mention the entire squad.
The Havoc hits the road for just the second time this season in an American Arena League matchup with the Carolina Energy today at Bojangles’ Coliseum at 6:05 p.m.
It will mark a battle of unbeatens as the 4-0 Havoc takes on the 2-0 Energy. The Havoc leads the AAL’s Atlantic Division with a 3-0 mark while the Energy is on top in the Southern Division at 2-0.
Both squads have been offensive juggernauts with the Havoc averaging 58.25 points per game and the Energy putting up an average of 87.5 through two contests.
But coach Anson Yarborough and his squad aren’t really focused on that, he said.
“I’m not really focused too much on what they are or what they aren’t bringing to the table,” Yarborough said. “I’m just focused on us playing our best football.
“Not to be arrogant, but they haven’t played us.”
That doesn’t mean the game plan hasn’t been tweaked, though, as the Energy’s major damage this season has come on the ground.
“We’re playing a team that’s about 70 percent run,” Yarborough said. “So we’ve put more emphasis on stopping the run this week. But our defensive backs are probably the best in the league regardless of what level they’re playing at against the pass or the run.”
The Energy has nine rushing touchdowns compared to seven through the air. By contrast, the Havoc had five passing TDs just last week against Jensen Beach and four more in the opener.
Starting quarterback Daryll Clark is still sidelined with an injury, Yarborough said, so the Havoc will turn to Jesse Scroggins this week. Scroggins ran for a TD and threw for another in a 54-13 victory over Peach State in the second game of the year.
“I have the utmost confidence in Jesse,” Yarborough said. “I think anywhere else, he’d be a starter. He just happens to be behind Daryll Clark.”
The Havoc has also gotten contributions behind center from former Marlboro County standout Tymere Zimmerman and former Wilson High standout Richard Cue, who tossed five first-half touchdowns last week.
“Nothing’s really going to change on the offensive side,” Yarborough said. “We’ve got a lot of weapons on the outside that Jesse can go to and we feel confident in our guys making plays.”