View Mobile Site

CMA heads to Tennessee in search of a conference title

Posted: November 7, 2018 11:06 a.m.
Updated: November 9, 2018 1:00 a.m.

There are so many things going against Camden Military Academy as they prepared for Saturday’s Independent School Athletic Association championship football game with Trinity Academy that you wonder how the Spartans can pull off what, on paper, looks to be an upset.

First, the Spartans have to leave their East Camden campus at 7:30 a.m. in order to get to the game site, in Gray, Tenn., for a 2 p.m. start. Without running into heavy traffic, that is about a four and a half hour journey. Second, CMA is breaking in a new, freshman quarterback who is making his first start behind center after having been moved from running back/receiver. Last but not least, Trinity has already beaten CMA, 23-12, four weeks ago in Camden.

In high school football, however, four weeks can be a lifetime given all the things that can change over that period of time. That is what Spartans’ head coach Will Rice is banking on for this game.

“At this point in the season,” he said, “we’ll do some things differently and I’m sure that they’ll do some things differently to try and exploit things that we both saw the last game.”

In their first meeting this year, Trinity Academy quarterback Titus Brooks threw two touchdown passes against the Spartans while leading a balanced offensive attack for the Knights. That setback was the last one which CMA suffered as the Spartans closed the season with back-to-back wins including a 55-12 trouncing of Gladiator Sports Academy in their last game, which was played three weeks ago.

Since then, the Spartans have only been working and practicing against each other. Rice said it has been a long time since his players have hit anybody other than a teammate.

“Of course, we’re worried about rust. It’s been three weeks since we’ve played a game,” Rice said of the extended stretch of inactivity. “I’m, obviously, concerned about that. On the plus side, it gave us a chance to heal up, a bit, from some bumps and bruises that happen throughout the season.”

The lengthy break also allowed the Spartans to get more reps for freshman Hunter Keltner at quarterback. His debut behind center could not come in a more pressure-packed situation than a championship game. Rice said although his team will have a new, young face directing the offense, little, if anything, will change on that side of the ball.

“We’ll make some adjustments. It doesn’t change it, too much; just some tweaks,” he said of breaking in a new signal-caller.

Rice said he expects the hosts to throw some new things at the Spartans. Then, again, the visitors have some things up their sleeve for the Trinity defense, too. “At this point in the season, we’ll do some things differently and I’m sure that they’ll do some things differently to try and exploit things that we both saw the last game,” he said.

There is the familiarity factor, Rice said, of having faced Trinity already this season. The Spartans know of the hosts’ size, speed and athleticism. What they do not know is what the Knights will change the second time around.

“On the one hand, it’s easier because you have seen then. Then, again, they’re a well-coached team,” Rice said. “I know they are going to have some wrinkles that we haven’t seen before or, haven’t prepared for. The same could be said about us and the new stuff that they will see.”

Trinity runs a Clemson-style offense with an H-back and three receivers. The Knights run some option and sweeps and when they throw the ball, their favored play is ball with the play-action pass. “They do a very good job with their offense of putting you in situations where you have to make quick decisions and react,” Rice said.

As for the Trinity defense, Rice expects the Knights to load the box to try and slow down the CMA running game led by Malcolm Hyppolite.

Not to be left out of the equation regarding this game is the long trek through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“It’s quite a haul,” Rice said with a smile. “This team hasn’t done it. Last year’s team made this trip and went to Asheville in the same year. 

“It’s all about focus. They can rest going up there and get some sleep on the way. It’s all about focus, though. We’re going on a business trip.”


No comments have been posted.

» LOG IN & POST COMMENT encourages readers to interact with one another. We will not edit your comments, but we reserve the right to delete any inappropriate responses. To report offensive or inappropriate comments, contact our editor. The comments are from readers of and do not necessarily represent the view of The Newspaper or Morris Multimedia.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2018 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...