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Demons prep for region play with visit from Lexington

Posted: September 27, 2012 12:59 p.m.
Updated: September 28, 2012 5:00 a.m.

At this stage of the season, Scott Jones does not care against whom or how his Lugoff-Elgin football team gets a victory.
After five weeks without a win, the Demons close out non-region play at home tonight against a Lexington squad which took five weeks until getting that elusive fist win.
Jones, the winningest coach in L-E football history, said a victory tonight would be a cause for celebration.
“Right now, I think everybody involved would do a dance and tear down the goal posts if we won a football game,” he said. “Our guys are trying hard and our coaches are trying hard. Right now, we’re just having a tough time competing with the people that we’re playing against. Hopefully, we can get some offense going this week and, maybe, squeak out a win.”
It took bringing in a team from Florida for the Wildcats to find their way into the win column for the first time in the post-Shaq Roland era. Scott Earley’s troops were muddled in the first four weeks, falling to Ridge View, Blythewood, Spring Valley and Irmo, in successive weeks. Lexington showed signs of getting things together in the final two of those contests, losing by a combined six points.
Jones said he sensed that Lexington was a frustrated team after an 0-4 start. The Demon boss did not believe the Wildcats would stay down on the mat for long.
“They had some really close games in the ones they did lose,” he said. “This is a good football team which got confidence last week. They want to build on that, everybody does. It will be a tough task for us this week.”
What has to be scary for the Demons is that, the guests seem to be getting on track offensively. And that starts with junior quarterback Will Hunter who, against Irmo, threw for 321 yards and a touchdown. Jones said his team needs to be aware of Hunter’s passing as well as his running skills.
“He’s big time. He’s a big time quarterback,” Jones said. “He can throw it. He’s just a good athlete.”
Despite losing the do-everything Roland to graduation and to USC, the Wildcats still throw the ball as much as possible and average better than 30 passes per game. When Hunter looks downfield, his favorite targets have been Altyre Walker, Ryan McCrary and Bryson Stokes.
Jones said his secondary will be tested unlike any other time this season by the LHS air game, which is in direct contrast to the double-wing formation which the Demons went up against a week ago at White Knoll.
“They throw it a lot; that hasn’t changed,” Jones said. “They also run the ball effectively. They have a big offensive line. The one thing they have been doing all season is moving the football. They’ve been giving everybody fits with their offense. They’re tough to contain because they have good skill people on the outside, a quarterback who can throw it and a very big offensive line.”
Where the Wildcats have had their problems is on defense. Through five games, LHS has surrendered 27 points per game while averaging 23 per outing on offense.
The Demon offense, operating behind a new-look line, has been a work in progress and is scoring at a 20.8 point per game clip. That unit will be going up against a chameleon-like Wildcat defense which changes its scheme each week.
“We really don’t know what we’ll get from them on defense. We’re going on what we’ve seen from them the past couple of years,” Jones said. “We’re expecting some kind of eight-man front, whether it be a 4-3 or a 4-2; they just do a lot of things offensively.”
In a brutal non-region schedule in which the Demons have yet to have had anything which remotely resembles a breather, Jones said tonight’s home contest is another gut-check game in an 11-game regular season series of them for his young squad.
“It is what it is,” he said. “Our guys our trying hard, but we’re just out-manned in a lot of areas. We’re trying to find creative ways to move the football and also find creative ways to try and slow somebody down.
 “I told our guys last week that the way to compete in (4A play) is to get in the weight room. We haven’t been real consistent there the past year. Hopefully, the underclassmen that we have will understand that. We have a good ninth grade program and a good ninth grade group coming up. If we can keep those guys interested in football and not other things, eventually, we may be able to turn the tide here.
“It’s a hard process. We knew that coming into 4A that it was going to be difficult for us. But as long as I have kids out there who are trying and giving a great effort, we feel that we will get better.”

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