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Spartans look to rebound at home

Posted: October 21, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Updated: October 22, 2010 5:00 a.m.

As he sat down and watched the film of his team’s 45-6 loss to Providence Country Day, Camden Military Academy head football coach Will Rice was hoping the video would not be as one-sided as the outcome of the contest was last Friday night.

He was half-right, he said.

“When you look at the score,” he said, “it seems like we have a ton of stuff to work on. But, after you look at the film, it all came down to blocking and tackling. (Providence Day) is a very physical football team. We just didn’t step up to the challenge.”

In what was almost an omen of what would come next for the Spartans last Friday, starting center Nick White suffered an injured ankle when he landed on it the wrong way in pre-game warm-ups. That left CMA scrambling to work in a new center and long snapper just minutes before the start of the contest.

Rice and company are hoping all will go well in pre-game on Saturday when the Raleigh Titans come to Spartan Field, on the CMA campus, for a 2:30 p.m. Homecoming contest.

 Two of the main items on Rice’s to-do list for the week were getting White’s possible replacement more comfortable snapping in the shotgun formation and putting the lessons learned from last week’s loss behind his team.

“We’ve talked about being focused, getting that bad taste out of our mouth, correcting our mistakes and moving on to this week,” Rice said of the week in practice. “There’s a chance we might get (center) Nick White back by the end of the week. It’s a high ankle sprain, not a broken ankle which is what we first feared. If (White) is not able to play, we’re working in a new center.”

The primary emphasis for the Spartans is returning to basics. Rice said his team has worked on the fundamentals of blocking and tackling. Another area of emphasis has been the kicking game. In all, it has been a busy week on Highway 1 North.

“Our field goal and extra point team has been a sore spot, so we’ve been working on that, a lot, this week,” said Rice. “We’re also working on being in the right place on defense. Last week, it seemed like the hole would be clogged up and then, their guy would bounce out or cut out and our linebacker or our end wouldn’t be there. We need to be in position and be able to tackle well.”

“We have to tackle better than we did and execute better on offense. We also have to get our snaps down with a backup center in there, now.”

As for the Titans, a team made up of players from various schools and home-schooled players in the Raleigh area, Rice has heard two different takes on the type of team which his squad will host come Saturday. The common thread in both scouting reports is that the Titans have some size and beef along their lines.

After playing a physical Providence Day team a week ago, Rice said he anticipates the Titans being along those same lines.

“I think they have the ability to be as physical as Providence Day,” Rice said. “We’ve heard two different scouting reports on them. One team they played said they were real physical and the other report that we got on them said that they weren’t. But with as big as they are, I would expect them to be physical.”

The Titans have operated out of both the spread and the Power I offense. They have shown both in the same game, on more than one occasion. Defensively, the guests us a four-man front and have the ability to go with a five-man look along the line. With CMA employing the spread offense, Rice anticipates the guests to stay with a four-man look.

Either way, Rice said his team, which has two games left in the regular season, cannot worry too much about what the opposition does. His focus has been on getting the Spartans to be the best team they can be as they enter the home stretch.

“I’m hoping it will refocus our energies and that we learn from our mistakes, move on and go undefeated the rest of the way,” he said.

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