First Posted: 8/26/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN The Cardinals got off to a good start with their 28-13 win over St. Stephens last Friday and hope to ride that momentum into this weeks non-conference matchup with visiting Starmount.
In its opener, Starmount fell to Mount Airy 41-28 and had trouble keeping momentum on offense. But the seasoned Rams will surely be looking to regain their composure in what promises to be a physical contest.
East Surry coach David Diamont said at this point of the season he and his team are trying to stay focused on improving themselves from within.
We dont want to compare ourselves with other people, he said. We are spending our time to making our ball club better. We feel like we got off to a good start. It was a little shaky at the beginning, but as the game went on, our kids began to realize that everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time, as my dad used to say, and we had a very good effort all night long.
Starmounts offense utilizes misdirection and an abundance of athletic weapons, including quarterback Jake Barr and running backs Israel Murphy, Blaine Nicholson, M.J. Bryant and Fondae McDaniel.
They have a lot of skill players, Diamont said. They have a lot of speed. I think also they are seeing who their playmakers are. They have a very solid quarterback in Jake Barr, who is definitely the catalyst for them.
Diamont said some points of focus for this week will be stamina and depth.
I think we are like everybody else, Diamont said. Everyone had cramps and I am sure every team that played last Friday will spend more time on conditioning. We need to develop depth and there are some adjustments as far as your lineup is concerned. Still some competition, which is always healthy.
Last week, the Cardinals ran around, over and through the St. Stephens defense, picking up all of their 400-plus yards of total offense on the ground.
Quarterback Hunter Diamont led the way with two touchdown runs while defensive stalwart Joe Reid Denny had an exceptional game. Denny carried the ball nine times for 32 yards, with one touchdown, led the Cardinals with 11 tackles, had two interception, including one returned for a touchdown and added on a blocked field goal.
Hounds seeking redemption
North Surry coach Brian Hampton took one look at Elkins game tape and came to an immediate realization.
Theyre huge up front, Hampton said. Theyve got men up front.
Those huge men paved the way for the Buckin Elks 350 rushing yards against a smaller Surry Central front Aug. 21. That offensive front returned nearly all of its starters from a season ago, so it comes with experience as well.
Its typical Elkin, Hampton said. Theyre well-coached, theyre not real fancy. Theyre just real good at what they do.
However, the Greyhounds arent without size of their own, plus a speedy group of athletic linebackers could squeeze through tight spaces to make plays at the line of scrimmage. Hampton also has a few tricks up his sleeve.
I think theres some things we can do to take advantage of their aggressiveness and their size and we need to execute those things, he said without elaborating.
Hurting matters as 6-foot-4 defensive end J.B. Coram was injured last week and his status Friday at Elkin is questionable.
With quarterback Tanner Hiatt still sidelined with a leg injury, Joston Phipps will start under center for the second straight week. Phipps amassed roughly 230 yards of offense last week in a losing effort against Forbush, including 152 yards on the ground.
The loss to Forbush wasnt exactly the best way for first-year coach Hampton and the Greyhounds to kick off the season, but the defeat highlighted weaknesses for them to work on this week.
We did some good things (Aug. 21), we just couldnt overcome the bad things, Hampton said. I think every week we are improving on the scheme. Thats all we can ask as coaches: Getting better every week.
We think that we sort of got a chip on our shoulder and (want to) come back from last week and redeem ourselves.
Battle of the birds
DOBSON Last week, Surry Central (0-1) opened up its season against a good running team in Elkin. This week, the Golden Eagles face another good running team, but the similarities end there.
East Wilkes (1-0) rumbled for 353 rushing yards against West Davidson, a number similar to the 350 yards Elkin compiled against the Golden Eagles in Week 1. Where Elkin and the Cardinals differ is how they execute their running attacks. Elkin is a more traditional, straight ahead running team that mixes in the stretch run. East Wilkes, however, operates out of a Wing-T formation.
Theyre a tough team to prepare for, Surry Central coach Monty Southern said. They run a bunch of formations.
The player behind center in all of those formations, Micah Bryan, caught Southerns attention.
I can tell you this: Personnel-wise, I was very impressed with their quarterback, he said. Hes got good size, hes a lefty, he stands in the pocket, he throws well. They also have a few plays that are designed for him to run. You have to be aware he could pull the ball down and run it at anytime.
Perhaps the best defense host Surry Central could employ is a good offense. If the Cardinals can run wild and chew up time, it will spell disaster for the Golden Eagles. Fortunately for them, they also employ a running attack that can keep the East Wilkes offense at bay by picking up first downs.
Southern believes he has the right man for that job. Quarterback Dave Wilmoth led a late-game charge against Elkin last week and Southern hopes he can pick up where he left off before that game was called due to lightning.
A lot of us turning it around last week had to do with Dave, Southern said. He started pulling the ball a little more and made it a true triple option. We dont have any wrinkles for anybody. We just want to execute our stuff a little bit better.