West Lincoln is still looking for win No. 1 as they head to West Iredell (3-0) to take on the Warriors on Friday.
The Rebels have shown the ability to move the football gaining more yardage (260 yards) than Fred T. Foard (233) last week, but West still fell 28-20 in a back-and-forth game.
This week against the Warriors, Gusler is looking for more of the same on the offensive side of ball, but the main emphasis will be on ball control to keep the ball away from West Iredellâ€™s dangerous offense.
â€œWe have to move the chains, stay on the field, keep West Iredellâ€™s offense off the field,â€ Gusler said.
â€œFrom quarter one to four, we have to put it together and be consistent,â€ he added.
One area he would like to see improve is the Rebelsâ€™ pass blocking.
â€œI feel like we have to block better and more consistently. Allow our quarterback a little bit more time to throw the ball and get our running game a little more consistent,â€ Gusler said.
Against the Tigers, Paul Chambers found the end zone twice and Gene Arp racked up 105 receiving yards. Ben Poole added to the Rebelsâ€™ offensive effort with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.
The backfield duo of Chris McCormick and sophomore Bobby Morrison have caught the attention of Gusler because of one thingâ€”speed.
â€œBoth of them can fly. McCormick is short and not real big, but he can fly and is a tough runner,â€ he said.
While McCormick and Morrison are enough to give coaches headaches, they may not even be the most talented players on their team.
That title arguably goes to 6â€™3â€ 165-pound receiver Chris Dalton, who has already verbally committed to Virginia and has legit 4.3 speed.
â€œHeâ€™s got tremendous speed. Heâ€™s got great open-field ability. Once he gets out there in space, he makes things happen,â€ Gusler said.
Expect Dalton to see slip-screen passes and expect to see talented quarterback Dewain Clark toss him the football deep in a three or four wide receiver look.
Gusler feels West Iredellâ€™s offense is similar to another area teamâ€”Maiden.
â€œThey remind me a lot of Maiden because they run a lot of the same stuff. Their quarterback Clark is an excellent runner and throws a pretty good ball,â€ he said.
Despite not being able to break through with a win, yet, West Lincoln has been competitive and Gusler still believes good things are right around the corner.
â€œOur kids are playing hard and they really want that first win. Theyâ€™re real hungry and I think theyâ€™ll continue to play hard,â€ he said.
â€œTheyâ€™ve been really tough and they just havenâ€™t quite gotten a breakthrough,â€ he added.
by John Mark Brooks