Sparked by two straight wins and the dream of winning a share of the Collegiate Sprint Football League title with a win tonight at Army and a Navy loss either this week or next week in their match-up with Army, has given new hope to a once thought of dismal season. The Red needs to take care of its own business tonight as it tries to avenge its week two home loss to the Black Knights.
“We’ve had a very positive mood in the clubhouse this week,” said head coach Terry Cullen. “We’re reasonably healthy, and ready for our last game of the year.”
The key to the game for the Red, according to Cullen, will be ball control. Army has a devastating running game, which sets the tone for the rest of the offense. Cullen noted that the offense has to control the clock and the defense is going to have to stop the run, which is something it has not been able to do well recently. The Red allowed over 200 yards rushing in the past two games, both wins, and was outrushed, 333-48, in the loss to Army early in the season. The time of possession in the Army contest was lopsided, as well. Army had the ball for almost 39 minutes, while the Red offense controlled the clock for 21 minutes.
“When you face a wishbone-ball hog offense, you have to control the ball,” Cullen said. “If they have the ball, they’ll usually find a way to beat you. We’ve been working on schemes all week to confuse them, and we’ve learned a lot from last time we faced them.”
Stepping up both on the field for the Red have been junior quarterback Alec Macaulay and junior wide receiver Jon Amoona. Macaulay has been consistently healthy for the first time all year after suffering from a case of mononucleosis earlier in the season, and he has led the offense to two 30-point outbursts in his last three contests. Amoona has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last two games.
“I think Macaulay and Amoona have really stepped up offensively for us,” Cullen said. “They’ve also been great leaders to show this team how to win. Amoona is very fast but he hasn’t played football since he was a senior in high school, so he’s finally caught up.”
In terms of possible scenarios for winning the league championship, the Red has to win tonight against Army. Currently, the Red is tied with Penn and Army in the league standings, and if yet-undefeated Navy loses one of its next two games the Red will be set to share a piece of the league championship. If Navy was to lose both games, the Red would take a share of the title with Penn.
“If the season ended today, I would still be extremely proud of what our guys have accomplished,” Cullen said. “This is a great group of hard nose, tough kids who have fought hard all year.”
Archived article by Josh Fox
Sun Staff Writer