RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It appears the tough early-season games against No. 24 Wingate and Division I FCS Davidson have paid off for head coach Adrian Jones and the Shaw football team.
In the last two contests, the Bears’ offense put up 93 points while their defense held the opposition to just 6. The end result is a confident group of players coming into their own and a two-game win streak, their first since the team won four straight to finish the 2019 season.
“It’s great to have the momentum winning two games in a row but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Bears head coach Adrian Jones. “We can’t just hang our hats on those two wins we have to come out here and focus because Virginia Union has a great football team.”
Leave it to the head coach to throw some cold water on the run but that is his job. Even he was smiling a bit though at the thought of what his Bears have accomplished. It was just a slight grin because he knows the tough road that lies ahead in Richmond this weekend. The Bears’ offensive ability to put up video game-type numbers isn’t in question nor is their ability to lock a team down on defense. The question is can they play with consistency.
“Last week we came out flat in the first and second quarter. We came back out in the third and fourth quarter and played like we did against Central State but we can’t play a half we have to play four quarters,” said Jones. “This week I’m determined to make sure our guys play for four quarters because if we don’t play four quarters we won’t win this football game.”
This week the Bears face the Virginia Union Panthers. Just like Shaw they are 2-2 and on a two-game winning streak. Unlike Shaw, the Panthers have a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde personality. It begs the question which team will show up? Will it be the Panthers squad that threw for 390 yards in their 43-7 win over Johnson C. Smith last week or will it be the team that rushed for 348 yards – Jada Byers had 202 yards alone – in the 49-7 win over Virginia University of Lynchburg?
“They are very explosive,” said Jones. “We’re gonna have to prepare to stop both facets of their offense so it’s a big challenge for our guys.”
The Bears are expected to key in on Virginia Union quarterback Khalid Morris. Through four games the graduate student has thrown eight touchdowns, five coming against JCSU last week, showing calm under pressure and an ability to rally his team.
“We have to make sure we get to him and get him rattled,” said Jones. “It’s a big challenge for our defensive backs and this is a good way for us to show we’re pretty good defensive backfield.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.