Saluda’s offense showed out in another win last week, and coach Stewart Young said the mood of the team is great heading into a battle with nearby Pelion.
Young said he’s been pleased with practices, but it’s not always a direct indicator of what happens Friday night.
“Sometimes you practice well and you play like crap,” Young said. “Sometimes you practice like crap and you play well. But most of the time it correlates. I’m hoping it correlates this week.”
The Tigers (3-0) kick off 7:30 p.m. Friday as they host Pelion.
Pelion, a Class 3A team, is 0-3 to start the season. The Panthers have losses to Class 1A power Wagener-Salley, Calhoun County and Class 5A River Bluff. The team’s coach, Dann Holland, is in his fifth year as coach. Holland won a Class 1A state title at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler.
Saluda defeated Pelion 31-14 last season. Young said it was a difficult game, but he wants to focus on tightening his own team’s game instead of focusing on an opponent.
Young talked ahead of the season about staying level-headed and continuing to improve, whether results are good or bad. He sees plenty of things to improve upon this week, including lapses in focus, bad snaps and penalties.
“It looks really well on the scoreboard but there’s a lot that’s really bad,” Young said. “We got a lot to work on, lots of work to do and a long way to go. We’ve got no reason not to be level-headed right now. We’re making too many mistakes, particularly in rules of protection and some silly penalties and not lining up correctly.”
Last week, Saluda’s Zaye Bryant had two receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return touchdown.
Young credited special teams coordinator Garrett Jones along with offensive coordinator Andrew Webb for the team’s recent form.
Webb, who was Clinton’s head coach last season, has engineered an offense that has scored at least three touchdowns in each of the team’s three games this season. Young played college football with Webb at Presbyterian and said the two get along well.
“He’s smart and knows the game of football defensively and offensively,” Young said. “He’s really helped us. We’re excited to have him.”