Foley prospects getting looks

Foley's Alontai Adams

Maybe it has always been this way, but since ESPN broadcast a Daphne-Foley game in 2007, the entire state and several fans outside the state have learned of the rivalry. Both teams have developed tremendous talents over the years like Foley's Julio Jones, D.J. Fluker and Robert Lester. Daphne has produced stars like Pat White, Jeremy Clark and Kenny King.


This year's game may reveal itself as another field full of players worthy of the same kind of attention.

Coach Todd Watson in his seventh year as coach of the Lions spent some time with Scout this week to talk about the game and his young players. You might not find it surprising to hear he has a young wide receiver who also wears the number 8.

Rebecca Johnston: It has been since 2007 since you've come out on the winning end of this matchup. Is that motivation or intimidation?

Coach Todd Watson: "It's been very competitive. If you look back in the last four-five years it's always been a three-four point game one way or another; 2006 it was 42-41, and the next year it was 16-14 for us. Last year the score was 17-13, except for the playoff game when we had some injuries, and they put it on us pretty good (41-13). It's good. It has become a rivalry."

RJ: You have some success running the ball this season. Talk about your backs and what you see for them in this game.

CTW: "We have some guys in Kalif Koen (Sr. 5-11, 185-pounds) and Joseph Brister (Sr. 5-9, 195-pounds) that have been running the ball very well. We are going to lean on those guys, and then we've got some skill guys in Bob Pugh (Sr. 6-0, 185-pounds) and Alontai Adams (Jr. 6-2, 190-pounds), Demarcus Bingham (So. 6-3, 195-pounds).

"Some of those guys we've got to get the ball in their hands. We have a young inexperienced line, and they are trying to come along. As the year goes on they will get better and better, but you worry about this big of a game this early in this season for them."

RJ: Defensively, stopping Daphne with Auburn commitment T.J. Yeldon (Sr. 6-1, 200-pounds) is an imposing task.

CTW: "Well, the key is tackling Yeldon. He's a good back, and he's already committed. Then they have other good skilled people around him. The quarterback (Jr. T.J. Fleeton) is good. They've got good wide receivers like (Torren) McGaster and an experienced offensive line.

"They've got a lot of guys back off last year's state championship team that played 15 games, so they've got a lot of games under their belt. That experience is definitely a plus for them."

RJ: This is a great atmosphere to have this game at home.

CTW: "Every time we have played them in the last six-seven years it's been a packed house, because usually both teams have come in with pretty good records and doing well. Both communities come out and support their kids very well."

RJ: Much fun? (laughter)

CTW: "Sure, absolutely."

RJ: Tell us about your up and comers, any Julio Jones in there?

CTW: "I think we've got a couple of receivers and one or two linemen that are going to play. Demarcus Bingham is a sophomore wide receiver for us. He's 6-3, 195 (pounds) and has a lot of the build that you would like in a receiver. Alontai Adams (6-2, 190-pounds) is another one that is getting some early looks. He is a junior. "We've got a defensive lineman in (junior) Nate Cole (6-2, 250-pounds) and offensive lineman in R.J. Hulse (junior, 6-7, 325 pounds) and Michael Valdez (junior 6-1, 320-pounds). All of them are underclassmen, but all of them have a chance to play at the next level we believe."

RJ: Last week you had bad conditions, but some sloppy play in the win. What do you do this week to improve on that?

CTW: "Too many penalties and mistakes. Some of that can be attributed to the weather, and some of it was just poor execution. Something that we are continuing to work on and when you have a good group you are going to get some of that early in the year. Your goal each week is to eliminate a few more mistakes, and hopefully by the end of the year you are playing your best football."

RJ: Have you had a good week of preparations?

CTW: "We've had a good week of practice. We don't usually have to do much to get them motivated in this type of a game and rivalry."

RJ: Maybe a little of keeping them grounded?

CTW: "Keep them focused on what the goal is."

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