Friday night lights move into week three

Published 9:26 am Friday, September 12, 2014

CARY, N.C.—With Windsor High School, Southampton High School and Isle of Wight Academy all on their bye week, Southampton Academy and Franklin High School will be Western Tidewater’s only teams playing under the lights tonight. But they’ll both be doing so on the road.

Southampton Academy

The Raiders are traveling to Cary, North Carolina, to face off against NCISAA Colonial Carolina 8-Man conference football foe, the Cary Christian Knights. The game’s kickoff has been moved back to 7 p.m. from its usual start of 7:30 p.m.

The Knights are coming into this game 0-2, but SA’s Head Coach Dale Marks said they’ve had a tougher schedule than the Raiders (2-0) have leading into this contest. The Knights had a 42-26 road loss against one of the better teams in the conference in Hobgood, and are coming off a close 22-20 loss at home to St. David’s.

“This game is going to be a test for us,” Marks said. “We are going to have to play well to win this.”

Matching up against the Knights is all about technique, he said.

“They don’t have the best team speed that we will face this year,” Marks said. “But they are a very physical, smash mouth football team on both offense and defense. And they will probably be one of the better coached teams that we will play this year.”

On defense, they spent time watching tape on Monday, which was a rain out, and since then they’ve had some good days of practice.

“We’re just going to continue to work on what we do,” he said. “They run a couple of different backfield sets, so we’ve been putting some time and emphasis on that.

“I think that our defense has played well this season. We’ve let a few receivers get behind us, and that’s something that we’ve been working on. But our guys up front have been doing a decent job.”

So far this season, on offense, Marks has not been satisfied with the passing percentage, but he said it’ll get better as the season progresses.

It’s still been a weapon that they’ve been able to more effectively use this year than last, and the rest of the offense has looked good.

“We’ve got three seniors in the backfield, and they have all been doing a good job for us right now,” Marks said. “We show a lot of different sets, and that really makes it tough on other coaches to prepare for you.”

Franklin High School

Coming off a tough 49-48 overtime loss this past Friday to Nandua, Broncos Head Coach Darren Parker said all that’s done is make his coaching staff and athletes more hungry.

“We are not used to walking away from Armory Field with a loss,” Parker said. “It didn’t feel good for the coaches, and it didn’t feel good for the players. But all it did was make us hungry to get it back.

“We can’t wait to get out on the football field. This game will be very high intensity. We can’t wait until Friday night.”

Tonight, Franklin High School will be traveling to Colonial Beach to face off against the Division 1A Drifters in a non-conference football match. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

“They run pretty much the same offense as what we just faced in Nandua,” Parker said. “They do a few things differently, but we’ve pretty much had two weeks to prepare for the same offense.”

Parker said they’ll make a few adjustments this week, and then continue to make adjustments as the game goes on once they see precisely what the Drifters bring.

“We’re still going to run power, and we’re still going to attack,” Parker said. “Our role as coaches is to make adjustments, and the kids’ role is to execute the adjustments that we put in.”

On Friday, the Broncos ran the two-point conversion rather than kicking for the extra point. Parker said that would continue until they are comfortable with a kicker.

“The bottom line is we have to execute in all three phases, and if we can get the two-point conversion with a higher percentage, that’s what we’ll do,” he said. “That’ll be a game-time decision from week to week.”

Parker said he was happy the fans who came out and stayed for this past Friday’s game.

“I’d like to thank the home fans for all of their support,” Parker said. “I look forward to seeing them once we’re back at Armory Field. Always, God is great.”