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Pate's 2 TDs lift CMA past Knights

Posted: October 21, 2014 3:07 p.m.
Updated: October 22, 2014 1:00 a.m.

After the heartbreak of a 34-28 loss to the Carolina Wildcats one week earlier, the Camden Military Academy football team righted the ship on Saturday with a 20-12 win over the visiting New Covenant Knights.

The game, which was the Spartans’ home finale, gave Will Rice and company a 3-3 record heading into Friday’s game at once-beaten McBee.

In his team’s first contest since the Wildcats recovered three onside kicks to rally from an 18-point fourth quarter deficit, Rice said Saturday’s victory was one which was more than welcomed by his troops.

"It was a very important game for us," he said. "The past week was gut-wrenching for us. We had a good week of practice coming into this game. They were focused and, I thought that we executed well."

The Spartans scored one touchdown in each of the first three quarters while carrying a 14-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

CMA tailback Nyaun Pate gave the hosts a 6-0 lead in the first quarter when he ran in a seven-yard touchdown. The Spartans used a bit of trickery for its second score when fullback Ian Benton took a handoff from quarterback Raeshawn Breckenridge and then flipped a pass to Breckenridge for a five-yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead.

The option pass back to the quarterback was designed to take advantage of the Knights’ bringing plenty of pressure with their blitzing. "They were pursuing hard," Rice said. "We ran a misdirection on that play and we caught them with the throwback pass."

Two plays after that score, with the Knights with the ball at their own two, Benton broke loose for a sack in the end zone for the safety and a 14-0 CMA lead, which stayed that way through intermission.

The guests scored on a 55-yard scoring run in the third quarter, after CMA missed a tackle near the line of scrimmage. Minutes later, a Spartan fumble gave the Knights a short field and they scored to close the gap to 14-12.

"Our defense played a good game," Rice said. "We gave up that one big play and, if we make the tackle, it’s a two- or three-yard gain. Then, on their second touchdown, they had a short field to work with after our fumble."

Pate accounted for the final score of the afternoon when he broke loose on a 25-yard scoring run to extend the lead to 20-12.

Rice said a change in defensive scheme gave the visitors problems.

"We did a good job against their offense with man-to-man coverage," he said. "They weren’t expecting that from us and, I think it confused them that we were not in zone coverage."

As for the New Covenant defense, the Knights were burned by focusing on the CMA running game.

"They did like everybody else has done to us," Rice said, "they loaded the box. If our backs got to the second level of the defense, they were off to the races. That’s what happened on Nyaun’s (Pate) 25-yard touchdown run."

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