CLOVER — Undaunted by a string of losses this season, Clover High School football players are positive as they prepare to face Lancaster Friday night.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. for the Region 3-AAAA clash at Lancaster.
The Blue Eagles have put last week’s 52-0 loss to perennial power Northwestern behind them.
This week offers a new challenge, one that the senior linebacker duo of DeForrest McCombs and Trent Hartis approach with optimism.
“We feel good about the trip to Lancaster Friday night,” McCombs said following a two and a half hour Monday afternoon practice.
“As a senior team member, I try to lead by example,” noted McCombs. “The games we have left are special to the seniors and we want the younger players to know that.”
McCombs said how well the offense can move the ball will be key.
“If the offense can get the wing-T going, it will help the defense,” he said. “It would keep us off the field.”
Hartis, too, is providing senior leadership.
“I want to help the younger players on the team toughen up mentally and physically,” he stressed. “I want them to know what it takes to win.”
The senior leadership rendered by McCombs, Hartis and others hasn’t gone unnoticed, said interim head coach John Barrett.
“I am proud of the seniors for the leadership they’ve given us through good and bad times,” said Barrett.
McCombs and Hartis are ready for a breakthrough game.
Concluded Hartis, “A win would mean so much to the seniors, just one win.”
In assessing Friday’s game with Lancaster, Barrett said the teams have something in common.
“Lancaster and us are in the same boat,” said Barrett. “Things haven’t gone as well as they’d hoped for. They have good athletes and their quarterback threw the ball well against York in the early stages of the game. He can run with the ball.”
His point is well taken, considering the first quarter success Lancaster quarterback Kaderrious Jackson had against the seventh-ranked Cougars.
His 47-yard scramble set the stage for a five-yard TD toss to teammate Tywon Anthony.
“The key for us Friday night is to control the ball and the defense needs to tackle better,” said Barrett.
An offensive performance like the Clover team showed against Nation Ford would suit the Blue Eagle coaches just fine.
Operating out of the double wing-T, the Blue Eagles pounded Nation Ford’s defensive front for 246 rushing yards.