The number-one-seated Mount Airy Bears will host the fifth ranked West Montgomery High Warriors tonight during the second round of the 1AA football playoffs after winning against Central Academy 47-14 during the first round of the football championships last week.
The Bears went undefeated in their conference and have an 11-1 overall record going into tonight’s competition against a 7-5 Warriors team.
Bears’ Head Coach Kelly Holder said the Bears will “continue to do what we do well” in the game against the Warriors, whom he characterized as a fast team. “Like many, in the Yadkin Valley league,” he stated.
He affirmed the importance of the Bears’ continued ability to delivery while in the red zone; the importance of maintaining ball control without any turnovers; and the necessity of special teams performance.
Holder said that after studying play film, part of the team’s strategy would encompass controlling the West Montgomery quarterback and limiting their option attack.
“Our game plan will not change,” he emphasized, and further expressed confidence in the Bears’ ability to deliver in the areas of blocking and tackling.
Also competing in tonight’s championship playoff bracket are the sixth-seated East Surry Cardinals, who hold a 6-6 record and are playing the Monroe High Redhawks of the Rocky River conference in Monroe. Their record is 9-3 overall.
The Cardinals come into tonight’s game with momentum and will build on the win against South Stokes last week, said Cards Head Coach David Diamont.
“We will not be going to Monroe to look pretty but to win,” said the coach.
During the first 1AA round, the Cards upset the South Stokes Sauras with a score of 24-22 and Zach Koons ran for a total of 218 yards on offense, he confirmed.
In tonight’s game, Diamont warned that winning against the Redhawks would not be easy and characterized the team as “balanced” and “explosive” with an ability to show unpredictable looks from the defense.
Yet, Diamont was undaunted when considering the opponent’s talents and stated that the Cards would win, “if they play sound football early on and continue to do so throughout the game.” He added, the Cards will have to make the Redhawks earn their points and not give them any.
Diamont further emphasized the importance of not letting the opponent get into their heads and stated that “the toughest distance is the six inches between the players’ ears.”
The Cardinal team will be expected tonight “to play hard defense being physical, forcing turnovers and making their presence known early,” said Diamont.
Offensively, the Cards will counter the Redhawks by utilizing players, such as Jeremy Gilley, who have shown the ability to be a deep threat and by “running the football” which is also an effective defensive weapon, he said. The Cards also will be “exercising mid-line option series plays with Koons” and others in an offensive ability to show many looks.
This will be the third meeting in a row for Cardinals against the Redhawks. He reminded of the Cardinals success last year in battling the team in an aggressive comeback attempt after being down three touchdowns.
The Redhawks are undefeated in their conference this season and have a 9-3 overall record. They beat Bishop McGuinness 69-0 last week, during the first playoff round.
The winner of this game will play either the number-one-ranked Mount Airy Bears or the fifth-ranked West Montgomery High School Warriors in the quarterfinals round.
Reach Tanya Chilton at email@example.com or at 719-1921.