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CMA hosts PAP in season finale

Posted: October 28, 2010 2:11 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Three years ago, Prince Avenue Prep used a late-game score against host Camden Military Academy to advance to the Carolinas Independent Schools Athletic Association championship game.

When the two sides meet for a Saturday afternoon (2:30 p.m.) game at Spartan Field in East Camden, it will mark the end of the season for both league foes, which will not play in the CISAA playoffs against schools from North Carolina.

While not long in terms of games against each other, this series has turned the two schools into competitive, if not friendly, rivals on the football field.

“Coach (Mark) Knight and I are good friends,” said CMA head coach Will Rice of the Prince Avenue Prep boss. “This has developed into a nice little rivalry over the years. There have been times where they have whipped us and there have been times when we whipped them. And, there have been other games which were extremely close. It’s been a good rivalry over the years.”

The visitors will carry a 7-2 mark into Saturday’s contest following last week’s 42-0 win over previously unbeaten Oak Ridge Military Academy. While short on numbers --- 17 players listed on its roster ---, what the guests lack in quantity, they more than make up for in athletic ability.

While their defense is one designed to swarm to the football, the PAP offense will put a strain on the CMA defense, according to Rice. Jacob Black, a 6-foot-4 quarterback, directs a potent offensive arsenal which has plenty of big-play weapons. Four of Black’s wide outs are listed at 6-foot tall or taller.

“They’re going to spread it out. They’ll go four and five wide; they have athletes all over the field, as usual,” Rice said. “They’ll throw the ball up to their receivers and they’ll go get it. They will try to get the outside when they run the ball and they’ll try to flood different areas in the passing game. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”

The host Spartans are hardly slouches when it comes to offense. In last week’s 42-6 thrashing of the Raleigh Titans, CMA quarterback Marlon Kelly found the mark on each of his seven passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 Miami native also ran in for a score.

Stephen Thomas was on the receiving end of two Kelly aerials while Trey Dean hauled in another. In the ground game, leading rusher Bruce Smith scored on a 15-yard run.

“On offense,” Rice said, “we have to execute our game and do what we do best, running and passing the ball. We have to be balanced. On defense, we have to tackle, be in our proper spots and gang-tackle. We can’t afford to give up big plays.”

If the CMA offense can stay in the groove which it found last Saturday, which came on the heels of a loss to Providence Day, then, given PAP’s high-scoring unit, the scoreboard operator at Spartan Field could be in for a busy day. Rice, however, it not ready to say that this contest will turn into a drag race. As a defensive-minded guy, he would like to let both teams settle in and make this a more traditional style of game.

“I’m sure the offensive coaches would love for this to become a track meet,” he said with a laugh. “But we defensive coaches would like to hold (the scoring) down. If it’s a tight game, then hopefully, we can pull it out in the fourth quarter.”


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