By Bobby Mathews, sports editor
MOODY — There may be no other team in the area that was ready to turn the page on 2020 in quite the same way as the Moody Blue Devils. After going winless last season, the team has pushed harder than ever in the weight room and on the field to change their run of bad luck.
“We’re not that same 0-9 team,” head coach Adam Wallace said as his team prepared for Friday night’s opener at Elmore County. “Our kids are coming into this season with a chip on their shoulder. They’ve made some huge strides in the offseason.”
Elmore County will be an early test.
“They’ve got a good squad coming back,” Wallace said. “They have a returning quarterback, and they’ve got some good skill players. They’re big up front, and I expect them to try to establish the run and then try to throw over the top on us.”
Key to stopping that attack will be players like senior linebacker Matthew McDonald, who enters the season starting for the second year in a row.
“He’s a very good player, and we expect him to do well,” Wallace said. “This is his second year in our program, and he’s always around the football.”
In the defensive backfield, sophomore Chase Jackson has stepped up as a leader for the Blue Devils stop unit.
“He’s a rangy kid, good quickness,” Wallace said. “He’s kind of the quarterback for our defense.”
On offense Moody will have multiple options to attack. Junior quarterback A.J. Wallace will look to hit big play threat Davion Dozier, a 6-feet, 4-inch junior who can make the big play.
Sophomore Blaine Burke has speed to burn, and the Devils will line him up all over the field in order to take advantage of his playmaking ability. Dozier and Burke will be joined at receiver by Kolby Seymour and Aiden Robinson, who will also be expected to contribute greatly to making the Moody offense move.
Running back Cam Benefield, a sophomore, will carry the rock for the Blue Devils.
“Cam will have some good numbers and it won’t take him long to get them, I believe,” Wallace said. “He’s like a bowling ball going downhill, a very physical runner.”
Up front, junior Mason Myers and Logan Suggs will be vital blockers.
“Mason is our left tackle, and this is his third year as a starter,” Wallace said. “He’s big and physical. Logan has been a starter since he was a freshman, so this is his fourth year.”
Senior Christian Sierra will handle field goals and PATs. The Blue Devils face of with Elmore County at 7 p.m. at Burt-Haynie Field in Eclectic.