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CMA hopes to close season in style

Posted: October 31, 2013 2:05 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2013 5:00 a.m.

All Will Rice wants from his Camden Military Academy football team come late Saturday afternoon is for his players to play hard for all 48 minutes of that day’s game with visiting Rabun Gap and then, let the chips fall where they may.
The Spartans will celebrate homecoming against their visitors from Georgia, seeking to end their seven-game campaign with their second win of the season.
With no playoffs for Rice and company, Saturday is it. And the CMA boss is looking to get maximum effort from his squad.
“We’ll talk about having no regrets,” Rice said of what will be his pre-game speech to his team come Saturday.
“When the clock reads zero-zero to end the game, we don’t want to have any regrets and wish that we would have played better or, played harder. You want to leave everything on the field. If you do that, that’s all you can do.”
A week ago, the Spartans played what may have been their best half of football of the season in carrying a 7-6 lead over McBee into the locker room at halftime. Things ended in a different fashion, though, as the host Panthers scored 28 unanswered second half points to take the 34-7 victory.
Rice said that putting four quarters of football together, at one time, was a major point of emphasis during this week of practice. The Spartans will need just that against head coach Dale Earnhardt’s (no, this is not a typo) troops which improved to 6-4 on the season with a lopsided victory last week.
Gerrio Rahming will be a man who will attract much of the attention from the CMA defense. The senior tailback has rushed for nearly 1,800 yards already this season after having gone for 169 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns in last Saturday’s game.
The Eagle offense is explosive, averaging nearly 40 points per game in their six victories with quarterback Gabriel Lopes directing a multi-dimensional attack.
“They’re big up front and they have a good tailback (Rahming) who before last week’s game had more than 1,500 yards,” Rice said. “If not stop him, we have to, at least, slow him down.”
For the better part of this season, the Eagles have operated out of the spread attack on offense. Rice, though, has learned that Rabun Gap may switch to the “I” formation this week and give the Spartans defense a heavy dose of Rahming.
Defensively, the Eagles have posted a pair of shutouts while having held two other opponents to one touchdown. That unit, Rice said, is an impressive one which could give the CMA offense problems.
“We’ll see a five- and a four-man front and, maybe some man coverage in the back end,” he said. “Their linebackers are good at reading the play so, they don’t send them that much. They get pretty good pressure from up front. They rely on those defensive linemen to get it done.”
This week has also been one in which the Spartan staff has prepared their players for what promises to be a physical game, given the size and strength of the Rabun Gap players.
“They’re young and they’re big, already,” Rice said. “They have some 270- and 275-pound guys; they have some big boys. That will be something we have to contend with.”


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