Sports and Outdoors
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea
may ride on Kemp-Mabank matchup
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANKLast year, a series of severe thunderstorms wiped out the annual grudge match between hosting Kemp and Mabank.
This year, Friday nights umpty-third meeting between the neighboring schools is a district game, so it will be played, and since its on the Panther Stadium turf, there wont be any worries about a muddy field, even if it does rain (theres a small chance of showers).
Theres also a lot more riding on the game this year than last years contest, which was a pre-district matchup.
Both teams come into Fridays game off district losses Kemp is 0-2 in District 13-3A play after last weeks 34-7 thumping by Crandall, while Mabank is 1-1 after falling to Ferris 31-24 Friday night, when a fourth-down play inside the Ferris 5 didnt connect.
Kemp arguably has the most to lose, as three losses almost certainly will end any chance of the Yellowjackets making the playoffs, while Mabank could still hope for a playoff berth, even with two losses.
Ferris and Crandall are atop the standings at 2-0, but Ferris still must play North Forney (who upset Kaufman, 36-35, in double overtime Friday), Kaufman and Crandall, while the Pirates still have to play Kaufman, Mabank and Ferris.
North Forney and Mabank are tied at 1-1. Mabank will play Kemp this week, followed by Crandall and North Forney, while the Falcons play Ferris this week and finish with Kemp and Mabank.
One thing that is certain records wont matter, because the basic truth is any Kemp-Mabank game, in any sport, is going to be a war.
Weve got two years pent up, now, Mabank coach Jimmy Cantrell said Monday morning. My main concern will be keeping our kids focused on what weve got to get done.
Its an area rivalry, and I think our kids are anxious to play them, especially since we didnt get to play last year, Kemp coach Greg Anderson said Monday. We just need to heal, and heal quickly.
The Yellowjackets will be limping into Panther Stadium on crutches well, thats a slight exaggeration, but Anderson is worried, because one missing player usually means two missing starters, offense and defense.
Quarterback Jeff Goldman reaggravated the shoulder injury he suffered against Fairfield, and his backup, Blake Murray, again tweaked the knee injured in the second scrimmage against Van, back in August.
Tight end/linebacker Colton Gaddis also has a shoulder injury, as does offensive/defensive lineman Mitchell Pinion, while center/defensive end Blake Watkins has bruised ribs. All are questionable for Fridays game.
We have to focus on one game at a time, and we did that Friday, Cantrell said. Its all about matchups. Defensively, were just real young, but I think our kids played well.
I thought we could have won the game, but weve got to bounce back, because we have three tough games left, Cantrell added.
Both coaches pointed out Mabank and Kemp match up pretty well as far as team speed goes.
They dont have the No. 3 (Robert Grady) Ferris has or the No. 24 (Courtney Miles) Crandall has that one guy who can run away from you, Anderson said.
Were going to have to contain No. 5 (Jake Goldman), Cantrell said. But, this is one (opponent) we match up with, speed-wise. Then it becomes a matter of technique and execution, and theyre probably saying the same thing.
In fact, both coaches agreed Friday nights game likely will be a quick one, as neither team really wants to throw if they dont have to.
For Kemp, the key will be avoiding turnovers. While they havent had many, the ones they have suffered have come at critical times, such as inside the Crandall 10, following a long march.
We really had the opportunity to score 17 points in the first half, but we were 7-7 at halftime, Anderson said. We came out in the second half and had a three-and-out, and then they were in the end zone on the first play.
It took the wind out of their sails, and we could never get it back, he added. That part is frustrating. Were not playing a full game.
For the Panthers, the critical breakdown in the Ferris game came late in the first half, when they pinned Ferris on their own 1 with a punt.
They proceeded to go down the field 99 yards and score, Cantrell said. We cant give up those kind of drives. That drive really hurt us.
That said, Cantrell said the last two games are the first two that the Panthers have played four full quarters.
Were going to have to force Kemp into mistakes, Cantrell said. Theyve shown a lot of different looks on defense, so we have to take what they give us.
If they take away the run, we have to show that we can hit the high-percentage passes, he added. Defensively, we need to force some three-and-outs.
Im sure theyre preparing the same way, Anderson said. We need to win to keep our playoff hopes alive. Anything can happen in the next three weeks.
Dogs travel to face Zebras
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