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L-E back at Parone to take on Vikings

Posted: October 25, 2012 11:55 a.m.
Updated: October 26, 2012 5:00 a.m.

TRENT GRANT-KIRKLAND ... L-E defensive back

When you have played nine games and have nothing to show for your hard work and effort on Friday nights, it is not easy to return to the practice field the following Monday.
For Lugoff-Elgin, that has been the case this year. But as the Demons prepare for tonight’s game at Spring Valley, head coach Scott Jones has nothing for respect and admiration after having seen how his players approach each practice session.
“They guys have good attitudes and are really trying hard,” Jones said. “We’re just a little outmanned, right now. But, we have guys who are trying real hard and I still love their attitude.”
With the state playoffs off the board, the Demons have used this week, and will use next week, to build for the future. More young players have been thrown into the mix and are learning under fire. Those numbers increased this week with the news that injuries to two-way starting lineman Adam Cassimjee and starting wingback Keenan Myers will likely keep the two seniors from playing their final two high school games.
“We have some young guys who are filling in and trying to get some experience going into next season,” Jones said of what the injury bug and losses have done to the Demons.
“When you play the shuffle game, it’s a problem. But our practices have been good. We’ve committed these last two weeks to not having a lot of contact because our guys are beat up.
“We’re trying to get things down, particularly with our younger guys. Obviously, with the season we’re having, we’re looking toward the future and trying to get those guys ready. And for the seniors, who are still giving a great effort, those guys are practicing hard and trying to finish the year on a positive note for them.”
The combination of injury and teaching younger players the ropes has led to the Demons being more vanilla than most teams which are out of playoff contention at this point in the season. With Myers sidelined, it takes away the double-pass which went for a touchdown against Camden in week four.
Jones admitted emptying out the playbook, in a different circumstance, would be the way to go, but not this week with this young squad.
“We could and it’s probably the thing to do, to tell you the truth,” he said of using gimmick plays to keep the opposing defense off-balance. “But when you can’t execute the basics, it’s hard to execute any trickery. I think in the Camden game we might have pulled a few tricks out. Our problem has been that when we’ve designed a trick play with a particular player, his backup could not do it; like a double pass, for example.
“We’re just trying to do some basic things and try to find something to hang your hat on for the future. Hopefully, we’ll get better. We’re just very proud of the young guys for hanging in there, fighting and doing the best they can. We’re trying to stay positive with them.”
A trip to meet a Vikings squad which is still stinging from last week’s 21-16 loss to Ridge View, is probably not the time for L-E to test out new plays. The 6-3 hosts use a ball-control attack which limits the amount of time the opposing offense is on the field.
Miles Aldridge’s troops operate out of the flexbone offense, similar to that run by Georgia Tech, Navy and Wofford. Jones said it is hardly an easy scheme for a veteran defense to prepare for; much less a unit which is plugging holes with untested players.
“It’s option football and you only see it once or twice a year and, when you see it, you have to play assignment football,” Jones said. “It’s very difficult to stay disciplined against that offense. It’s an offense that has given teams fits. We’ll have a hard time trying to hem them up.”
On defense, the Vikings will line up in the 3-4. This unit has several tall and rangy athletes, such as Division I prospect Christian Miller, who get to the football in a hurry. The speed and aggressiveness of the SV defense also will provide the L-E offensive line with a challenge to keep defenders off Demons’ quarterback Shon Belton.
As much as the Demons have spent this week preparing for Spring Valley and, will use next week to get ready for what Irmo will throw at them on both sides of the ball, Jones said his squad needs to worry about getting better itself … with an eye cast toward next season.
 “The game is still about blocking and tackling and we haven’t been good in both those departments,” Jones said. “When that happens, you don’t get real good results. We’re trying to shore that up and get better fundamentally each week.”



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