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Spartans in ‘hurry up’ mode for Saturday’s home opener

Posted: August 30, 2012 12:20 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2012 5:00 a.m.

For the Camden Military Academy, Saturday marks what may well be the earliest season opener in the history of the program. For visiting New Covenant Christian School, this will be the first football game in the school’s history.
Not wanting to go into next week’s game at North Central without a game under his team’s collective belt, CMA head coach Will Rice did not have a long wait to find somebody or, some team to come aboard for the season opener.
Late last spring, Dr. Antonio Massey, head coach of the fledgling NCCS program out of Charlotte, placed a call to Rice to see if there was any interest in playing a game. A quick check of the calendar and presto, the Knights found themselves headed to Camden for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. contest at Spartan Field.
If there was ever a case of two teams being fairly close to totally in the dark about each other, this game more than fits that bill.
“They just called looking for a game. They haven’t played an actual game, yet,” Rice said of the guests. “They’ve scrimmaged a couple times. We’re going in blind.”
All that Rice has heard from teams which have scrimmaged the Knights is that the CMA defensive line had better get pressure on the quarterback and that the Spartans’ secondary better get a good night’s rest this evening.
“They throw it around,” he said of the scouting report he has received on NCCS. “They’re going to go five-wide (receivers) and throw it about 90 percent of the time. They also have speed.
“It’s going to be a difficult test for us, but we’re not shying away from it.”
The Knights will go up against a re-tooled CMA defense which returns only one full-time starter from a season ago in defensive back Cody Owens. The hosts have on returnee on the line in tackle Adrian Blaylock as well as linebacker Ryan Figgalo.
Offensively, Owens and Blaylock are the lone Spartans who played on the team a year ago. Owens will be joined by Greg Dekanski at wide receiver. The entire backfield is new with quarterback Rick Thornley handing off to Tim Coleman and Anj Gadgji, among others.
The Spartan offense will face a Knight defense which will switch from the 4-3 to a 3-4 set throughout the afternoon.
CMA, which is looking to rebound from a winless 2011 campaign, will keep things basic on both sides of the football since the hosts have had less than two weeks of practice since school started on Aug. 20.
While the visitors might be the new kid on the football block, Rice said the Knights will have the upper hand in terms of time getting to know one another.
“This team that we’re playing probably has a month and a half head start on us as far as practicing goes,” Rice said. “It’s definitely a concern, but you have to get game experience sometimes. We’ll throw them in there and see how it goes.”

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