Warriors, Bulldogs face off; both want to beat “friends” on other in-county team
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
It doesn’t matter that Western Alamance and Williams have arrived at this juncture of the football season with many of the same feelings.
Pride is on the line as these Central Carolina 3-A Conference and intra-county rivals meet Friday night at Burlington Memorial Stadium.
“They scheduled us on their homecoming, and we’ve got something to prove,” Western receiver/linebacker Calvin Galloway Jr. said.
There are few secrets among these teams, at least on the surface.
“We know everybody over there,” Williams defensive end Caleb Fogleman said. “You want to beat your friends.”
Western running back Mason Hogsed had similar thoughts. “They’re my good buddies, so you can’t lose to them,” he said.
Quite a bit is at stake after both teams had what-could-have-been results against Eastern Alamance. Western (3-3, 2-1 Central Carolina 3-A Conference), which was off last week, led into the fourth quarter against the Eagles. Williams (4-3, 2-1) dropped a double-overtime decision to Eastern last week.
“That has been my yoga meditation for the whole weekend,” Williams coach Patrick Stokes said of the fallout from that game and the numerous factors that might have changed the outcome.
Yet for all the talk about the connections that both Western and Williams have with Eastern, the rivalry between Western and Williams likely exceeds anything else.
“They go to bed at night thinking they want to beat us,” Western running back Kevion Hudson said. “We do the same thing.”
Perhaps that’s true. Consider this: The week before the regular season began, Williams was wrapping up a scrimmage with Northern Guilford. A long-time Bulldogs fan turned to another fan and asked, seemingly out of the blue: “What’s Western got this year?”
In 2019, Williams won 35-16 to end Western’s 17-game winning streak in the series. The teams didn’t meet in the pandemic-restructured 2021 spring season and then the Bulldogs edged Western 33-27 in two overtimes last year.
“We beat them for like 17 years straight and now we’re 0-2,” Hogsed said.
The communities for these schools are largely intertwined.
“It’s just always been a big rivalry,” Williams receiver Clifton Davis Jr. said.
Last year’s game became so heated that there were a couple of ejections stemming from “a little brawl” as Hogsed called it.
Both teams are intent on getting it right after the close encounters with Eastern.
“We had to keep our head up and get over it,” Galloway said. “We’ve got to move on to the next game and that’s Williams.”
The Bulldogs have lost three games by a total of 12 points.
“Trying to fix the little things and that eventually will lead to bigger things,” Fogleman said.
Western coach Jeff Snuffer said he likes having a week off between the Eastern and Williams games. No doubt, the Warriors have been dialed in on the Bulldogs.
“We’ve played a lot of big games with them,” Snuffer said. “But they’ve won the past two.”
From the Bulldogs’ perspective, they’d like it to be their turn for a long streak in this rivalry.
“Now we’ve got that encouragement to keep on going,” Fogleman said.
[Editor’s Note: see interviews with Fogleman, Galloway, Davis, and Hogsed at alamancenews.com or on The Alamance News YouTube channel.]