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Wolverines rebound to upend CMA, 28-13

Posted: September 15, 2012 2:33 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2012 5:00 a.m.

When you start practice and your season later than most teams, you are forced to play catch-up and try to get to where you need to be in a quicker period of time.
Nobody knows that fact better than does the Camden Military Academy football team.
The Spartans fell to 0-3 on the season following Friday’s 28-13 loss to East Clarendon in a game played in Turbeville. The win was the first in four tries for the host Wolverines.
After having scored just one touchdown in their first two contests, Will Rice’s troops scored a pair in the first half on Friday, only to see the High School League entry close with 20 unanswered second half points.
“We are still not where we need to be in terms of our shape,” Rice said of his team and its play on a muggy evening. “They just ran the ball down our throats in the second half. We were not able to stop them.”
For the second time in as many weeks, tailback Ange Gadji returned a kickoff for a touchdown. On Friday, he fielded a kick at his own 25 and sped 75 yards into the end zone to close the gap to 8-6 after EC blocked a CMA punt and used a short field to score the game’s first touchdown.
A week ago, the Baltimore resident went 84 yards with a kick return for a score against North Central. After East Clarendon saw that film, Rice figured that the Wolverines would not boot the ball in Gadji’s direction. He was half right.
“Knowing and seeing what (Gadji) did last week,” Rice said, “I was surprised that they kicked to him. But after that they didn’t kick it to him anymore.”
Gadji would strike again late in the first half, taking a handoff from quarterback Ricky Thornley and sprinting 25 yards into the end zone to give the guests a 13-8 lead which they would carry into the locker room at intermission.
EC, which operates out of the spread set on offense, struggled to get anything going in the passing lanes against a tough CMA secondary.
“We shut down their passing game and they had to adjust to that,” Rice said of the Wolverine offense. “Our defensive backs did a great job.
“Cody Owens played an extremely tough game. He left it all out on the field, like he always does. He’s as tough as nails. And Greg DeKanski did a great job at defensive back. They like to try and get the ball to (Marquice Elmore), but they couldn’t against DeKanski. He did a great job of shutting their leading receiver down.”
With the passing game all but null and void, the hosts used their advantage along the offensive line to pound the ball at the Spartans and take control of things in the second half.
“They are so much bigger than we are,” Rice said. “They just wore us down as the night went along.”
As for the CMA offense, Gadji has now scored all three of his team’s touchdowns. Rice said his squad needs to establish a passing attack to help the running game. Both the backfield and offensive lines should get a boost when running back Tim Coleman and lineman Patrick Mulligan return to practice today.
Rice said that, for the most part, EC bottled up Gadji, who should benefit from the return of Coleman this week.
“He’s going to help us,” Rice said of the 6-foot-1 Coleman. “Mulligan is also going to help us. When you have a limited number of kids, like we do, and have players going both ways, you will wear down at the end of games.”
Rice said he saw signs of improvement from his team which travels to Anderson on Friday night to take on the Anderson Cavaliers. The CMA head coach said he hopes another week of practice will get his squad where it needs to be at this stage of the season.
“We’re getting there,” he said. “We talk all the time about our being behind other teams. It’s a long process and, you can’t hurry it up.
“We’re getting there, though. Maybe, it’s taking us a little longer than we would like it to, but we’re getting there.”

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