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CMA headed to Raleigh in search of first victory

Posted: October 20, 2011 11:01 a.m.
Updated: October 21, 2011 5:00 a.m.

If you are going to make a four-hour trip to a football game, you would, at least, want a victory to make the journey back home more bearable.

That will be the case tonight when Camden Military Academy packs up and heads to the North Carolina capital to take on the Raleigh Titans for a 7:30 p.m. start.

The visiting Spartans are looking for their first win of the season after having gotten off to an 0-6 start with one game left on the schedule after tonight. Their hosts sport a 3-4 mark with one of those victories having come via shutout over Northeast Prep in a game scheduled for last Friday night in Charlotte.

While the bus trip is a taxing one, it was fruitful the first time which a Spartan teams took on the Titans and left Raleigh with a 38-6 victory in 2009. CMA boss Will Rice, whose team blitzed the Titans in Camden last season, 49-7, hopes those two games will serve as an omen for this evening’s contest.

“That will be something else for us to overcome,” said Rice of the long trip. “When we get there, we have to be ready to go and be focused.

“This is only our second time up there. We went up there and won in 2009 so, I’m hoping we get the same result this time.”

Rice and company would like any semblance of those final scores tonight. The Spartans have struggled on offense this season and have been shut out three times, including in each of their past two outings.

Now in their third week of practicing out of the “I” formation, Rice hopes his team is more comfortable in their scheme. The biggest obstacle which Rice said his team needs to overcome is, no matter how things are going, to stay with the game plan and battle for the full 48 minutes.

“We need to stay focused the whole game,” said the CMA head coach. “We have mental lapses, sometimes. We keep telling our guys that they will surprise themselves if they stay focused for the entire four quarters. We need to play four full quarters of football.”

Rice cautioned against his team looking at the ease in which the Spartans defeated the Titans in each of their past two meetings and thinking tonight will be more of the same. Those were different Titan squads and, this is a rebuilt CMA unit.

“The last couple years, they’ve really been hurt by injuries,” Rice said of the problem which affected the Titans in the past. “The majority of their people have stayed healthy this year; it helps when you have that continuity. They were real young last year, now they have a group which has been there awhile.”

Head coach Jeff Nyce’s charges will line up in the 4-3 defense with a cover two in the secondary. Offensively, the Titans are not as structured.

“We’ll see the spread and maybe, some ‘I’ and some wildcat,” Rice said. “They’re a much improved team over what they had last year.”

Rice and the Spartans would like nothing better than to end the season on a two-game win streak. Next Saturday, CMA closes its slate against a Q Foundation Academy squad which will carry an 0-7 ledger into tonight’s game at Robbinsville.

“You’d like to see the improvement from the beginning of the season to the end,” Rice said of the end-of-season plan of attack. “If we can get two wins, it means that, obviously, we’ve gotten better since the start of the season. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

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