|Trojans facing second homecoming game in as many weeks|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Sept. 22, 2005 - CUMBY - For the second straight week, the Cumby Trojans are heading to a homecoming contest.
After taking care of the Simms Bowie Pirates last weekend, Cumby (4-0) heads to Celeste for a match-up with the 0-4 Blue Devils in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
"We were hoping that they would be 0-4 so that we could have that mental edge coming into the game," said Cumby coach Kent Hawthorne. "Celeste is 0-4 and hopefully will be 0-5 after Friday night's game."
Celeste goes into the contest as 16-point favorites according to the Harris Ratings Poll, and Hawthorne said the kids are eager for the start of District 17-A play.
"Our kids are pumped and excited for the game and excited that we are 4-0 coming into district and having the chance to start district with the two top dogs in Celeste and Wolfe City," the coach said.
"We love having no respect out there right now and I don't think teams are worrying about what we are going to do in a game when they watch our film every week."
The Blue Devils look to bounce back from a tough pre-district schedule with losses to Blooming Grove (29-28), Como-Pickton (56-28), Blue Ridge (34-13), and Calvary Academy (30-21), and Hawthorne said Celeste needs to be ready to face the Trojans.
"They better not overlook us this week because we are coming after them. We have gotten better, and we will do some things right. It should be a good war," the coach said.
Hawthorne believes stopping the passing ability of junior quarterback Casey Barbee and receiver Cooper Haralson will play a key role in the outcome of the game and said Cumby's coaching staff has drilled the pass defense into their players this week.
"We have to stop the pass because we know that they throw the ball real well and our main objective is that we want to shake things up this season," he said. "We have run it over and over, and hopefully our kids will recognize it this week and make a mess of it during the game. We know that it is one of their favorite plays."
Another player that Hawthorne believes will be a role player for the Blue Devils Friday night on both sides of the ball is senior David Lakeman, the returning district Defensive Most Valuable Player, as he is the starting running back and linebacker this season.
"Lakeman is a good athlete, and I wish I had one of him on our team. We are not going to try and run away from him, but we are going to run right at him during the game," Hawthorne said. "Hopefully on defense we will have 11 men with an attitude coming after him when he is running the ball, and hopefully on offense we will have somebody out there blocking him when we are running with the ball."
After finishing last season at 6-4 overall, the Trojans are two wins away from matching last year's mark and Hawthorne said getting an early lead in the district race is very important with the caliber of teams every week.
"I think there are so many good teams with Boles, Rivercrest, Wolfe City, Celeste, Melissa and us, and I don't think that there is a team in our district that can't beat somebody or beat all of them," Hawthorne said.
"We have to play every game hard and get every game that we can get during district. We have got to play every play as hard as we can during the remainder of the season."