East falls short again

Sep. 11, 2013 @ 05:49 AM
 With just over six minutes left in the game, the East Rutherford Cavaliers led Tuscola 21-14. But in an eerily similar fashion to the Cavaliers’ Week 2 loss at North Gaston, the defense allowed the Mountaineers to drive the length of the field, score a touchdown and complete a two-point conversion for a 22-21 lead and eventual win.
 
“It was just a repeat of North Gaston,” East Rutherford head coach Clint Bland said. “There’s nothing left to say. We play three good quarters or three and a half but we just can’t seem to finish a football game for whatever reason. I hate to sound like a broken record from last week but it’s the truth.”
 
Now for the second straight week, the Cavaliers approach a week of practice with a bitter taste in their mouths.
 
“It’s very frustrating,” Bland said. “You put more time in after you lose and coach the kids as hard can and you still don’t get the results you want on Friday night.”
 
But like last Monday, the Cavaliers try not to dwell on a disappointing Friday night.
 
“After a loss we try to move on,” Bland said. “We had a great day of practice Monday. We just tell the players to keep their heads up, keep working hard and keep preaching that good things are going to happen.”
 
Speaking of good things, quarterback Austin Hollifield continues to impress Bland with his arm and legs.
 
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“Austin played well,” Bland said. “He keeps progressing and doing exactly what I expect him to do.”
 
The Cavalier offense is having success on the ground but Bland is contemplating a move that would put the ball in the air more often than not.
 
“I’ve kept us in a spread more as of late. I may do away with the I-formation entirely,” Bland said. “Normally, I’d like to run the ball more. I feel that in order to be a good high school football team you have to establish the run. But, I just think we’re a better team in the spread and we need to put more reps into that.”
 
However, it doesn’t seem to be the offense that is putting the team in bad situations.
 
“We’re averaging 30 points a game but it just isn’t enough,” Bland said. “The defense will keep coming up with good game plans but it comes down to the kids making the plays. We’re putting ourselves into position to make plays but we just aren’t making them. It just comes down to tackling and making a play.”
 
And with SMAC opponent Kings Mountain waiting on them Friday night, the Cavaliers aren’t changing up much in practice this week to break the slide.
 
“We’re not changing a whole lot. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Bland said. “The good thing is that the kids are still working hard. We’re 0-3 and sometimes kids will start laying down or giving up. We don’t have any of that. Something good is going to happen to us pretty soon I hope.”