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In the soup

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River to host Campbell Kids

By Mike Forster

 

Having gone 0-for-2 against its county rivals to start the season, Staunton River will turn its attention to a new friend this Friday evening.

That's when the Eagles will host William Campbell.

While the Generals have a fine football tradition, things haven't been rosy in Naruna lately.  Campbell has failed to have a winning season in any of the previous four years.

So far, things have not gone all that well for the Campbell Kids:  The Generals lost their opener to Randolph-Henry, 34-28:  The Statesmen broke a 12-game losing streak with the win over Campbell.  Last Friday evening, the Generals fell to 0-2 when they were roundly trounced by Lunenburg Central, 56-16, a team William Campbell beat last season.  That year, the Campbell Kids went 4-8, including a trip to the Division 1 playoffs.

Of course, Staunton River has not exactly been setting the world on fire, either.  

The 0-2 records aren't the only things the teams have in common.  They've also given up scads of points so far.  Campbell has yielded an average of 45 points per game in its two losses.  River bas been only slightly less generous, yielding points at the clip of 44 per game.

  The big difference, though, is both have instituted the single wing offense this year.  Campbell first-year head coach James Phares introduced the attack to take advantage of Campbell's stock of talented players at the skill positions, as well as a nod to the fact that he inherited quick but undersized linemen (the largest tipping the scales at a mere 225 pounds).

The skilled guys may not be large, either.  But, man, are they fast.  In fact, when these two teams face off, you just may see two of the fastest teams in the region.

Speedsters to watch when Campbell has the ball include running backs Tyrell Staten and Tevin Bradley.

Should there be any throwing going on, look for Staten to be the trigger man.

The big question for Staunton River will be whether it will have its ponies in place to run its single wing.

Head Coach Chuck Poston fully expects Deshawn Martin and Quannie Blake to suit up this Friday evening.  Both suffered leg injuries, Martin in the preseason and Blake during the loss to Liberty.

Even though, technically, there is no quarterback in the single wing, the fact is that any damage inflicted via the air is likely to come from the arm of Martin.  After all, he was the Eagles' quarterback the past two seasons. 

Blake stepped in for Martin in admirable fashion until sustaining his injury.  If both are available, it gives Staunton River a potent one-two punch, one that can relieve some of the burden from workhorses Ramir Hunt, Jakob Divers and Marcus Brown.

By the way, as both Staunton River and William Campbell have defenses which practice against the single wing on a daily basis, unfamiliarity with what's coming their way won't play as an excuse.

The River defense, while taking its lumps against JF, did get a balance in the tackling department.  Eighteen different players were in on tackles, led by Blake Green, with 6.5.

To win against Campbell, those tackles will need to happen sooner in the play.

"This game is huge," said Staunton River Head Coach Chuck Poston.  "It could get us feeling good about playing."