WORTON — This week could be the week that Kent County starts to turn around its football season.
While inexperience, youth and a small roster have conspired against the Trojans in their 0-6 start, the addition of 10 players who previously were academically ineligible and the excitement that surrounds homecoming are pluses heading into tonight’s game.
Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.
Kent County’s homecoming opponent is Snow Hill.
Snow Hill’s two wins are against Nandua (1-4) and Arcadia (0-8) — small public schools in Virginia that are not on Kent County’s schedule.
Nandua’s only win is against Arcadia.
Snow Hill and Kent County have common opponents in Cambridge (3-3) and Colonel Richardson (4-2); they have been beaten by both.
Snow Hill is coming off a Friday night, Oct. 8 game at home against Washington that ended early when a fight between players broke out in the third quarter. Snow Hill was leading 21-0, with nearly nine minutes remaining in the quarter.
Kent lost Friday at Colonel Richardson, 42-0.
The Trojans failed to score for the third game in a row.
Head coach Brian Aikin acknowledged that Kent “played below expectations.”
“I thought we would be more competitive. I thought we would give them more of a fight,” he said in a phone interview Saturday.
“We picked up a couple of first downs and defensively I thought we had a solid game plan,” Aikin said, “so after the first couple of drives, I thought we were doing well.”
By halftime, though, the Trojans had fallen behind, 35-0.
Junior Brandon Cannon had 12 carries for 36 yards and his classmate, quarterback Ryan Miller, rushed for 16 yards on five carries.
Sophomore Landon Wallace had one catch for 8 yards.
Cannon led the team in tackles with 10, and Semaj Pleasants had seven.
Kent’s opening day roster had just one senior and 15 freshmen. At least 10 guys — Miller and Wallace among them — had never played organized football until they joined the KCHS program.
The young players don’t have the confidence that experience brings, according to Aikin.
“We as coaches have to find a way to get that (confidence) out of them. ... We as coaches need to do better,” he said.
Aikin said the culture of the team — positive attitude, strong work ethic and sportsmanship — is where he wants it to be.
He’s convinced the wins will come with time.
“We’re going to get there,” he said.