“That’s always been our thing,” the 2008 graduate said. “We kind of felt like everyone wanted to beat us when we played them. When I played here, we had a bit of a chip on our shoulder because everybody wanted to beat us.”
Fast-forward to this year and Caudill is looking to bring that “chip on the shoulder” mentality back to the Raider program.
“Everybody always wanted to beat us and it’s still like that,” said Caudill.
T-shirts have been sold for Burton’s homecoming that spell out the feeling for the Raiders’ program.
The front has a Burton logo while the back says, “Burton vs. The World.”
Although the Raiders’ homecoming game is not until Oct. 11 against Honaker, Caudill hopes his team (2-2, 1-0) plays Friday’s game with a chip on its shoulder when Cumberland District foe Eastside (1-3, 0-0) comes to Lawson-Fitchko Stadium.
“It’s a big game and we need to be ready,” the coach said.
One of the biggest weapons for the Raiders, as usual, is the quickness of the skill players.
Esau Teasley leads the offensive attack, with a full complement of speedy backs including Najee Steele, Tyrell Ingram and freshman Trey Keys.
Teasley finished with 127 yards and two touchdowns in Burton’s 41-0 win over Twin Springs two weeks ago.
With the speedsters providing plenty of threats on the outside, senior workhorse Mikey Culbertson handles the offense up the middle.
Culbertson had 58 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries against Twin Springs.
Culbertson is also the catalyst for the Raiders defense.
Heading into Friday’s contest, Culbertson has 42 tackles in just four games for the Raiders.
STOPPING THE THREAT
The best way to stop the Raiders’ speedy offensive attack, according to Eastside coach Mike Rhodes, is to keep the ball away from them.
“Ball control will be a key for sure.”
The Spartans suffered a big setback before the season started when senior Garrett Whited was lost to a season-ending injury. But Rhodes said other offensive players have stepped up, including Nick Raymond, Bryson Sheppard and Ethan Hill. Garrett’s twin, Grayson, has increased his participation in the offensive attack.
Quarterback Will Stansberry is also coming into his own.
Stansberry was both a passing and rushing threat for the Spartans last week in Eastside’s 28-14 win over Lebanon.
He completed 9 of 13 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans’ first win of the season, while rushing for 28 yards on seven carries.
Several other games are scheduled for Friday night including Gate City at George Wythe; Paintsville, Ky., at Union; Wise Central at Abingdon; Perry County Central, Ky., at Lee High; Harlan, Ky., at Thomas Walker; and Castlewood at Northwood.