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CMA opens tough closing stretch at home

Posted: October 9, 2014 10:29 a.m.
Updated: October 10, 2014 1:00 a.m.
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CMA QUARTERBACK Raesahwn Breckenridge and the Spartans open the second half of their eight-game season at home Saturday afternoon against the Carolina Wiildcats.

As he watched his team’s defense scrimmage against its offense on Tuesday afternoon, Camden Military Academy head coach Will Rice was concerned about the Spartans’ conditioning.
Rice has good reason for his worrying as CMA had a bye for fall break last week and the team did not practice during the time off as students were allowed to return home. When the Spartans reconvened for Monday’s practice, Rice was impressed with the emotion shown but also heard the familiar sounds of a group which had been away from the practice field for 10 days.
“We had that week off and (Monday), there was a lot of huffing and puffing. But we’re getting there,” Rice said of conditioning which he called “a work in progress.”
“We’re trying to get back a little of the game feel that we missed last week,” he said. “I think they were excited to get back, though.”
CMA brings a 2-2 mark into Saturday’s 2:30  p.m. home game against the visiting Carolina Wildcats, a home-schooled squad hailing from Pickens. In their last outing, the Spartans drubbed the outmanned Providence Athletic Club Panthers, 41-7, on Friday, Sept. 19 at Spartan Field.
On that afternoon, CMA was able to rest its starters in the first quarter as the hosts raced to a quick 27-0 lead. Rice does not expect a walkover like that come Saturday.
The Wildcats are stinging from a 24-20 loss to New Covenant a week ago which snapped a five-game win streak for Mark Knight’s charges which average scoring better than 32 points per game.
“They’re fast, athletic and very physical. It’s going to be a tough matchup for us,” Rice said.
“They run a ton of formations at you. They run the spread, the I, a split backfield … you’re going to see a lot of everything from them.”
Defensively, the Wildcats have allowed a little more than 10 points an outing and have athletes who get to the football and can create problems for the Spartans’ offense. “We’re going to see a four-man front, the 4-3,” Rice said. “I’m sure they are going to be geared to stop the run.”
In preparing for that group, Rice said his offense may have a few new looks and tactics in store for the guests.
“Maybe a wrinkle or two on offense,” Rice said of any changes after the week off. “We’d like to control the ball and have that time of possession heavily in our favor.”
Saturday’s contest kicks off the second half of CMA’s eight-game slate. And, Rice said, starting with the Carolina Wildcats followed by a game with New Covenant next week and then, a trip to McBee after that, the final four games will hardly be a walk in the park for the Spartans.
Rice said a win Saturday would be a step in the right direction for a team which wants to finish strong.
 “I told our guys that the last four games are really tough and that we are going to have to bear down and be ready to go. There are no cupcakes these last four games,” he said. “It’s very important that we get off to a good start on Saturday. We’re going to have to fight and claw in every game from here out.”

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