WELLSBURG - Opening the season on the road is tough for any high school football team. Playing your opener at a place like Morgantown, which is ranked second in the sportswriters West Virginia Class AAA poll, is even tougher.
So it comes as no surprise that Sean Blumette and his Brooke Bruins are looking forward to Friday's home opener. Taylor Allerdice will provide the opposition. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium.
The Bruins fell to Morgantown 47-7 in Week 1 while the Dragons lost to Martins Ferry 49-27.
"Going in, we knew it was going to be tough," Blumette said. "Morgantown is a tremendous football team. There's no doubt they are among the best in the state. We expected to take our lumps and we did.
"We did have several solid individual performances, unfortunately we just didn't have enough of them. We had some kids step up and show they want to play ball, so we are going to build around them going forward. We're taking the positives from Week 1 and moving forward."
As he prepares his team for Allerdice, Blumette admitted the "home opener is exciting, especially here at Brooke where we have such great fan support."
"The kids have the opportunity to improve this week in practice then play before what I'm sure will be a great crowd," the second-year coach said. "We have five home games and we need to be successful at home. If you can win your home games and break even on the road, you're in pretty good shape.
"Hopefully, through our performance Friday we'll give our fans something to look forward to and give our kids something to believe in. We expect a big crowd and we want to give our fans something to be proud of."
Before Friday rolls around, Blumette stated he and his football team will be focusing on a list of changes "that runs from A-to-Z."
"We're starting with A and going forward," he added.
One change may involve running more plays with the quarterback under center. Blumette noted this change is a result of Preston Wise, Brooke's starting center, sustaining an injury in the Morgantown game.
"He (Wise) is a key part of our line and we're hoping he's ready for Friday," Blumette said. "But it's also a situation of next man up and Cody Younciak (a sophomore) stepped in and did a good job for us."
Wise started at guard as a junior but moved to center for his final season in a Brooke uniform.
"We're putting in a package for it, just in case," Blumette said of moving his quarterback under center.
Junior Aaron Walker, Brooke's starting quarterback, completed 50 percent of his passing attempts and rushed for 46 yards against Morgantown. He also saw time at linebacker, a move that gave sophomore Chad Harper a chance to direct the offense. Harper hit on 3 of 4 attempts for 61 yards and added 29 via the ground.
Blumette called Taylor Allerdice "a real strong city league team."
"They have some big physical kids and lots of speed," he said. "They are not fancy and they don't have to be. They line up and try to get their athletes in space. They also are dangerous in the return game."
Taylor Allerdice quarterback Timothy Jackson threw for 245 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Martins Ferry. He connected with his brother James four times for 146 yards. Matt Hill was on the receiving end of a 63-yard scoring toss. Hill also crossed the goal on a 5-yard scamper.