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Streaks collide in McBee tonight

Posted: October 18, 2012 12:15 p.m.
Updated: October 19, 2012 5:00 a.m.

It has been 13 games since McBee has come out on the long end of a final score. The last time that happened? In week five of the 2011 season in a 40-22 win over … the Camden Military Academy.
Tonight, the Spartans would like to end a 14-game skid of their own when Will Race takes his team for a trip along Highway 1 North to meet McBee in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Chesterfield County.
Last Saturday, CMA came ever-so-close to ending its current dry spell when the Raleigh Titans stuffed the Spartans’ two-point conversion run in overtime to escape Camden with a 21-20 victory.
Throughout what has been a tough stretch for the Spartans, their head coach said he has never questioned the effort which his players have given on a weekly basis.
“It’s been rough, but the kids are still positive,” Rice said of his team’s attitude. “They’re still playing hard. They’re putting forth great effort. They just need to keep giving that type of effort.”
The Panthers, who have lost eight straight this season, are coming off consecutive shutouts to C.A. Johnson (41-0) and Great Falls (20-0) the past two weeks. McBee has, in general, had trouble both stopping people and scoring on people. Tonight’s hosts yield 45.5 points per game while scoring 11.7. More than of third of MHS’ damage was done in a 32-point outburst in a 20-point defeat at the hands of North Central in week four.
Regardless of what the numbers might say, Rice said the Panthers have the type of offense which can give his defense fits.
“They run the wishbone and they run it well,” said the CMA head coach. “They have some big linemen. Their running backs are powerful and run extremely hard. If they get it to the outside, they can take it to the house at any time.”
This will be the first time this season that CMA will have faced a wishbone offense. That has led to the Spartans’ defensive staff tweaking some things on that side of the football this week.
“It will be a big challenge because we haven’t seen it all year and they’ve been running it forever. They know the offense,” Rice said.
“We’ll have some new wrinkles that we’ll have to put in for the wishbone, but it will basically be the same (defense.)”
Defensively, McBee will run a four-man front and will play man-to-man in the secondary, at most times, but also can throw in zone coverage. Rice the Spartan offense must be crisp and be able to loosen the Panther defense by throwing the football successfully so that the hosts will not stack the back with eight to nine players.
For the second week in a row, CMA will rotate quarterbacks Tim Coleman and Ricky Thornley, going with whichever of the pair has the hot hand. The Spartans employed that strategy last week, catching the Titans off guard. Since they have exchanged film with the Panthers this week, McBee should have an idea as to what to expect when the visitors have the football tonight.
“We’ll continue with the two-quarterback system,” Rice said. “We’ve done it all week in practice and we’ll continue with it. They each have their own strengths and we’ll use it to our advantage.
“It won’t be a surprise for McBee, though.”

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