|Cumby looking to even its record|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Oct. 21, 2004 - CUMBY - With three games remaining in the 2004 season for the Cumby Trojans, head coach Kent Hawthorne has one goal in mind- finish the season at 6-4 overall and 4-2 in district play.
"We would have liked to finish in second place, but mathematically we don't see any way that could happen, so now we want to win out just for our own pride and would like to finish 6-4 overall on the year and in third place.
"With Celeste having only two games to go and Wolfe City having three more games, I would be real surprised if Boles, Rivercrest, and Celeste beat Wolfe City because that would be the only way to get in," Hawthorne said.
CHS (3-4 overall and 1-2 in district play) will travel to Detroit Friday night for a District 17-A battle against coach Kevin Hime's Eagles (1-7 overall, 0-4 in district), who lost to Wolfe City 42-0 last Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"Detroit is 1-7 right now and their bye week is at the end of the year. They have to play 10 straight games and then be open at the end of the year," Hawthorne said. "They are beat up and you know that they can't be feeling good about themselves."
Cumby comes into Friday night's game as a 1-point favorite by the Harris Ratings system and Hawthorne said he believes their offense needs to stay on the field as much as possible against Detroit since both teams play a similar style of football.
"We feel like we need to keep our offense on the field and play keep-away during the game," the coach said. "Detroit plays the same kind of offense that we do. They play smash-mouth football and will throw when the have to during the game. I think if we don't make any mistakes, we have what it takes to take care of business."
In last week's 27-14 win against the Melissa Cardinals, Cumby had 15 penalties for 110 yards, but Hawthorne said he never felt outmatched and stayed calm even with the way his kids were playing on the field.
"I never felt that we couldn't score when we needed to last week because we were moving the ball, and I never panicked last week during that game. They weren't stopping us because we were stopping ourselves," Hawthorne said. "Even though it was close and those kids were playing their hearts off, I felt like sooner or later we were going to have a break and not make a mistake and make the score."
Detroit will be led on the field defensively by sophomore linebacker Ryan Cashiur (6-2, 175, 4.9), and Hawthorne hopes to be able to run the ball down the Eagles' throats just like they did last week with 39 carries for 301 yards against Melissa.
"I think Melissa is a better football team than Detroit," the coach said. "Detroit plays hard on film and they are pretty solid when it comes to the fundamentals but they are not a flashy team."
Hawthorne said he believed the Eagles have some talented defensive lineman in Rusty Stansberry and Shane Cabler and the Trojans' offensive line will try to double team them and use the running of Rusty Vaughan and Brandon Brown to disrupt the Detroit defensive unit.
Stansberry was an all-district selection in 2003 as an offensive and defensive lineman during a 4-6 overall season for the Eagles last year.
According to Hawthorne, Brown had one of his best rushing games of the year last week with 17 carries for 79 yards, while Rusty exploded for a game-high 144 yards on 11 carries at the fullback position.
"I think that if you take the penalties away and the mistakes that we have made this season, it would be a much different season right now. The kids understand where we are at and where we are going right now, and by the time next year rolls around we will be a better football team," Hawthorne said.
The remaining District 17-A schedule has Wolfe City at Quinlan Boles, Celeste facing off against Rivercrest, and the Melissa Cardinals have a bye.