Behind Enemy Lines – Spartanburg

By: Paul Davis

Since 1995, eight games have been decided by 7 points or less.
And over the life of the rivalry which dates back to 1919, Spartanburg has averaged 19.3 points per game versus just 8.1 for the Jackets.

According to, the key to a Viking’s victory will be their establishing the run and creating a short field on defense. And, they predict whoever scores two touchdowns usually wins.

Looking at Union , they predict that Union must go deep and make the Vikings play catch up, something difficult to do early in the season.

That’s one take on the game.

The Vikings, who are ranked 8th by the High School Sports Report, run an uncomplicated yet sound offense off the “I” formation and its variations.

Their quarterback, senior Chris Bain (5-10, 173) was the backup to Nick Prochak last year. His backup, Markus Robinson, broke his ankle in the preseason and wont’ be available for some time.

Bain typically lines up under center with one or two backs and two or three wide-outs in a run-oriented offense.

Three offensive linemen are returning, center Jake Scoggins (5-9, 246), left tackle Ronnie Brown (6-3, 276), and right guard Boby Copeland (6-2, 238).

Though run oriented, Bain is good with short passes and will throw to his tight end on occasion. Zycorrian Robinson (5-8, 150) and Cameron Anderson (6-2, 172) are his favorite receivers. And Spartanburg will work hard at getting the ball in the speedy Robinson’s hands and let him make the play.

The one to watch is Alton Norris (5-9, 183, 4.47 speed), their talented running back who is their major offensive threat. As a junior, Norris had 116 carries for 563 yards and 6 touchdowns in a secondary role. As “the man” this year, he is expected to be the workhorse of the Vikings ground attack. If the Jackets can contain Norris, it could be a long night for Spartanburg .

When it comes to the kicking game, the “cupboard is bare,” as Doc Davis, long-time Viking’s coach put it. So far in the pre-season, they have been able to get the ball to the 20-25 yard line on kickoffs, punts around 35 yards, and can hit 25-yard field goals.

On defense, they’ll probably go with a 3-3 this year but may switch to a 4-2. Their defensive line is rated excellent as is their secondary. But, “…we lost every one of our linebackers,” said Coach Doc Davis. Filling the gap will be seniors Tim Flucker (6-0, 207), Craig Williams (5-8, 157), and Damon Brisco (5-9, 160) who did see playing time at outside linebacker. And they like to blitz them.

The defensive line will be anchored by junior Dylan Taylor (5-10, 245) who has some varsity experience. They are considered to be good against the run.

Their secondary is one of their real strengths and can be found in cover three or a three deep zone.                   

Union is much improved over last year. But are they improved enough?

© Paul L Davis, 22 August, 2006



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