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Buzzword at L-E is ‘consistency’

Posted: August 29, 2018 2:04 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2018 1:00 a.m.

KEVIN BOWIE ... L-E defensive tackle

Second verse, same as the first.

With apologies to Herman’s Hermits, Lugoff-Elgin head football coach Matt Campbell stood firm in his commitment to making sure that his own team continues to make strides and not have an pratfalls as it gets ready for tonight’s visit from Chapin.

To hear the fourth-year Demon boss talk about the preparations for the Eagles, it sounds eerily similar to what Campbell said in the days leading up to last Friday’s game with Camden, which followed a season-oepning loss to Westwood.

“I think it’s the same challenge that we had after the first week and that is trying correcting our mistakes and handle our team,” he said of this past week of practice in the West Wateree. “We did do a better job of executing and getting into our game plan last week and when we did that, we had positive plays both offensively and defensively. We have to continue to build on that.”

This week, Campbell and his staff have preached the importance of consistency on both sides of the ball. In charting his team’s offensive plays from the Camden loss, Campbell said the Demons were efficient in “about 55 percent of our plays; you’re not going to win any games like that. You have to, at least, be operating at least 80 to 90 percent,” he said.

“We’re harping on handling the fundamentals and on doing what we need to be doing and trying to be more consistent.”

In spite of the shortcomings of a week ago, there were some bright spots for the Demons. Following mistakes made on special teams which led to four Westwood touchdowns in the season opener, L-E corrected things in that area. Defensively, the Demons allowed the CHS offense just one first half touchdown after the Bulldogs turned a pair of turnovers into 13 points in jumping to a 20-0 first quarter lead.

Offensively, L-E went with a tempo offense which seemed to suit sophomore quarterback Josh Gary who found Jordan Williams in the seam with a 41-yard scoring pass in the second half. Campbell would not tip his hand as to whether his team would be in a hurry-up mode tonight but Chapin has to be ready should the Demon offense rush back to the line of scrimmage.

“They were flip-flopping their front around and we figured that if we could push the tempo, maybe, we could catch them off guard and get them while they were still moving,” Campbell said of what he and his coaches saw from the Camden defense.

L-E rushed for 160 yards last week, a figure which needs to improve tonight and throughout the season in order to open the airways. The Demons have tailbacks in senior Randall Brown and sophomore Tyler Dixon, who if given a crease, can make big plays if not go the distance.

“Our passing game is going to go how our running game goes,” Campbell said. “The touchdown we threw on the deep ball last week was off play-action. We have to be efficient in the run game and I am patient enough to go three yards and a cloud of dust. If you can go three or four yards a clip, you’re controlling the ball, you’re controlling the clock and you’re limiting possessions for the other team.

“We have to shore up our blocking schemes and make sure that we’re on the right people because we have backs that can go.”

Chapin comes into tonight’s tilt after having played one game, a 17-13 win over rival Mid-Carolina. The Eagles were led by a 194-yard, one touchdown passing night from quarterback Roger Pedroni who directs what Campbell said an offense which mixes the running game with the passing game and gets the ball to its playmakers at the skill positions. That group includes tailback Taison Thomas, who led the Eagles in rushing a season ago.

“They’re going to run the ball and they will mix the pass in with it,” Campbell said of Justin Gentry’s offense which returns four starters along the offensive line. “They do a good job of distributing the ball to all their backs and receivers.”

Defensively, Campbell said Chapin’s unit is one which will stay in its respective lanes, be where they are supposed to be, position-wise, and will not beat itself.

“One thing you see is they are a very disciplined team; you’re not going to out-flank them,” Campbell said of the Eagles. “They’re going to be where they are supposed to be and they are going to execute their assignments. Up front, on both sides of the ball, they’re very big and very athletic. Their linebackers are physical, downhill players and their secondary is solid in their coverage and in their assignments.”


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