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Spartans fall into early hole in 30-20 setback

Posted: September 23, 2014 10:45 a.m.
Updated: September 24, 2014 5:00 a.m.
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NYAUN PATE RAN FOR 115 yards and two touchdowns in CMA’s 30-20 defeat at the hands of East Clarendon last Friday night.

Will Rice refused to use the previous week’s emotional 20-14 loss to neighboring North Central as a crutch for a possible letdown heading into Camden Military Academy’s road contest at East Clarendon last Friday night.
The predicament which the CMA boss found his team in Friday was the visiting Wolverines’ jumping to a 16-0 lead, which stood at 24-6 at halftime. The visiting Spartans tried to get back in the thick of things, only to come out on the short end of a 30-20 final score.
The loss gave Rice and company a 1-2 mark heading into Friday’s 4 p.m. home game with the Providence Athletic Club Panthers.
Following the setback, Rice said the Spartans should not have been feeling sorry for themselves after coming up short in Boonetown a week earlier.
“We shouldn’t have been thinking about (North Central) because East Clarendon is a very good football team,” Rice said. “We had to get back out there and be ready to play.”
The Wolverines scored on a five- and 10-yard run, followed by successful two-point conversions each time, in the first and second quarters, respectively, to jump out to a 16-0 lead.
The Spartans dented the scoreboard for the first time when Nyaun Pate broke loose on a 55-yard scoring run in the second quarter to trim the deficit to 16-6.
The guests tried to build on that momentum after its defense forced a three and out. But with the ball on the CMA own 12, a Spartan ball carrier was stripped of the football. The loose ball was recovered by an EC defender who scored on the turnover to give the Wolverines a 24-6 lead at intermission.
“Things started clicking for us,” Rice said of his team’s play in the second stanza. “We got a long touchdown run from Pate and then, our defense gets a stop. Having the ball stripped and their scoring right before the end of the half really hurt us.”
Pate, who rushed for 115 yards on the night, struck again in the third quarter, capping a CMA drive by going into the end zone from five yards out to make in 24-14 after three quarters of play. EC answered with a fourth quarter touchdown to hike its lead to 30-14.
CMA closed the gap to its final 30-20 score with Nate Lalli scoring on a two-yard plunge to close the evening’s scoring.
While the Wolverines have a multi-dimensional offense, on this night, they found success on the ground and stayed there for the majority of the evening. “They were trapping us a lot and gashing us by running the ball,” Rice said.
As for the Spartans, their head coach said his team answered the bell in the second half but missed out on too many chances.
“We played a great second half,” Rice said. “We had some stops on defense. And on offense, we moved the ball; we had some chances on offense. We had open receivers but we had some overthrows and a few dropped balls.
“We had interceptions and a fumble, that we were not able to get, that hurt us. But the good thing is that we never quit.”
Rice said conditioning came back to haunt his troops for a second straight game.
“Conditioning was still a factor for us,” he said. “It’s a process and we’ll get there. Right now, we just have to put four quarters together.”

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