Cumby coach cautions Trojans against overlooking Rockwall Christian
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Sept. 6, 2007 - CUMBY - Following a 14-12 win over the Alba-Golden Panthers last Friday night, Cumby head coach Kent Hawthorne was impressed with how the Trojans played but knows this week is a brand new game.
"This first win was very important," Hawthorne said. "We did some things really good and that was important. We had a game plan and stuck to it and it pretty much worked. Our kids kept plugging away, and it paid off in the end.
"We are ecstatic by the win, and I wish we would not have made the mistakes that we made, but that is what our job is this week is to fix those mistakes."
The Trojans wrap up a two-game homestand at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow against the Rockwall Christian Warriors. Hawthorne said the Warriors have improved since last year's 42-7 loss to Cumby in Rockwall.
Rockwall Christian beat Richardson Canyon Creek Christian 28-12 in last week's season opener.
"They are a lot better than they were last year. They switched their running back to receiver and their receiver to running back," he explained. "Their running back runs hard and he hits the hole and runs right at you. The quarterback throws the ball pretty good and is on target. They have one lineman that will get after you and he locks you up and does everything he can to blow you off the line."
The Warriors return running back Brad Boyd, junior quarterback Clayton Jones (5-9, 165, 4.6) and wide receiver Jorden Ogle at the skill positions, and all three players had big numbers last year. Boyd ran for 680 yards and five touchdowns, while Jones threw for 1,407 yards with 15 TDs and 17 interceptions while Ogle had 54 receptions for 666 yards and 12 TDs.
Hawthorne said one area the Trojans need to work on is the passing game as junior quarterback Brixx Hawthorne went 8-of-26 for 124 yards and two interceptions in the first game of the year.
"We threw 26 passes and only completed eight but we had a lot of dropped balls," he explained. "We have got to work on that because there was a couple of balls that were thrown at their feet and a couple of them were right in the hands and kids were losing concentration."
Defensively, Hawthorne said the Trojans kept Panther running back Ryan Young out of the end zone but had too many missed tackles in the game and were breaking down early on coverages.
With Cumby getting its first taste of special teams work during the game, the Trojans had a chance to have three returns for touchdowns against Alba-Golden.
"We made sure to kick away from Ryan Young during the entire game with kicks and punts. Ryan did not get a return yard all game long and we were effective in that area," the coach said. "With kickoff returns, we almost took all three to the end zone. Ryan Hobbs did a great job returning kicks and Jake Vann also did a good job. I was very pleased with them during the game."
Hawthorne said after watching the film of the Warriors from last week, the team has worked on the areas in which they were weak and hope to be 2-0 after Friday night.
"We have got to execute and we can't take Rockwall Christian lightly since we beat them bad last year," he said. "This is a totally different year and they have a different team and we do too. That is one of the things that we are preaching to them this week. We know they are going to show up and want to play, and I think that is the key for this week."
Notes: The Cumby coaching staff highlighted players for their performance during Zero Week action against Alba-Golden as Nathan Dunnihoo was named the Offensive MVP, the defensive player of the week was Kris Stanford, special teams player of the week was Hobbs, the Milk (best lineman) player of the week was given to Jason Wallace, the best hits of the week were given to Michael Morris and Kris Stanford, and the Headhunter Award was given to Stanford.