Offenses in flux
Lexington lost two Shrine Bowl wide receivers and its primary running back. Ridge View lost all but one offensive lineman.
Both teams still have some weapons. Lexington has quarterback Will Hunter, who had 36 passing touchdowns last season, receiver Bryson Stokes and Garvin Jackson rushing. Ridge View returns Gary Bradshaw, who rushed for 853 yards, and Tre’van Howell, who had 399 receiving yards. Nolan Randolph is starting his first season at quarterback.
Ridge View gets defensive
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The Blazers present a great test for Lexington’s offense with eight experienced starters, including linemen Obina Ntiasagwe and Curtis Bey. That pair combined for 16 sacks and 33 tackles for loss last season. Their ability to get behind the line of scrimmage is crucial. Just as important for the Blazers is the defensive backfield, led by DeMario Evans, and its ability to create turnovers.
The Comeback Story
Both teams are looking for a return to top form. Lexington was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. The Blazers have missed the playoffs for three years in a row. Though many new, young players are getting their first starts, jitters will quickly give way to focus for both teams.