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Spartan defense faces tough test against run-first Trojans

Posted: September 22, 2016 9:01 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Having watched his team complete a 23-snap scoring march --- which lasted more than nine minutes --- on which each play was of the rushing variety, Camden Military Academy head coach Will Rice saw the trouble which his team’s ground game gave the Asheville School last Friday.

With that part of the offense being effective, the next priority for the Spartans is to get things going in the passing game in order to loosen up opposing defenses.

Finding a balance between the passing and the ground attacks will be important if CMA wants to come back from tonight’s game at Green Sea-Floyds with its first win of the season after opening the 2016 campaign with three consecutive losses.

“We still want to establish the run,” Rice said, “but we also want to get the passing game going a little bit more this week. We’d like to be majority run but we’d also like to take our shots downfield, too.”

In last week’s game with Asheville, the Spartans misfired on both their pass attempts which came in the latter stages of the 28-6 loss to the visiting Blues. Things were better on the ground with Barrett Sullivan running for 58 of his team’s 142 yards. Kimani Fletcher and Brice Fleming went for 29 yards each in the Spartans’ tailback by committee approach.

While Asheville lined up in the a spread set on  offense, Grteen Sea-Floyds operates out of the double-wing, a formation in which the offensive linemen are foot-to-foot and the Trojans’ offensive backfield is nearly joined at their hips in what looks to be a rugby scrum formation.

The double-wing usually gives opposing defenses fits in preparing for the unique scheme. Fortunately, Rice said, his defensive unit received a taste of it when Dixie employed the set in the season opener. “Green Sea-Floyds runs it better, though,” Rice said in comparing the two versions of the offense

“They love to pound the ball at you,” Rice said of what the GSF offense is designed to do. “If we’re not up to the challenge, it could be a long night for us.”

Defensively, the hosts will line up in the 4-3. Tonight, Rice anticipates the Trojans stacking the box with eight or nine players and will dare the Spartans to throw the ball while trying the plug up the running game.

Rice said he has been impressed with what he has seen on film from the Trojans who were winless two seasons ago before finishing with a 3-7 record in 2015. No longer is Green Sea-Floyds a pushover.

“They’re a big, physical football team and they’re a lot better than what they had been,” Rice said. “Their coach (Tony Sullivan) has done a great job over there. It will be a great challenge for us.”

As for his own team, Rice said the Spartans took several steps in the right direction a week ago and hopes they will continues that upward trend tonight, heading into a bye week for CMA next weekend.

“I think we’re getting better every week,” said Rice whose team has been together for just under a month. “The process is probably not where I would like us to be after three weeks but we’re making progress each and every week considering that a lot of the guys we have had never played organized football before.

“They’re getting better. They’re getting in shape. It takes time.”


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