Back on track

Hilltoppers snag first win of 2013
Sep. 11, 2013 @ 05:12 AM
The wait is over. R-S Central football earned its first win since Aug. 31 of last year Friday night with a 42-33 victory over Polk County. Coincidentally, their last win came against the same team.
 
The win came two weeks after the Hilltoppers lost a dramatic, sloppy game to McDowell 8-7 in which Central fumbled six times.
 
“Just playing on a dry field made things right for us,” Central head coach Mike Cheek said. “We were able to run the whole offense.”
 
The Hilltopper offense featured two 100-yard rushers in Desmond Whitesides and Matt Atchley who wet for 117 (three touchdowns) and 101 yards (one touchdown) respectively. Whitesides’ brother, Rashaun, also rushed for a score.
 
“Desmond stepped up big,” Cheek said.
 
Desmond Whitesides took full advantage of being the featured back in a system that has three feauture-worthy ball carriers.
 
“We were able to run him more because [Rashaun Whitesides] is such a good blocker. Polk County’s plans on defense let us put the ball in Desmond’s hands more than the other guys,” Cheek said. “It’s all week-to-week depending on how teams are trying to stop us. Polk tried to stop us inside so we went outside with Desmond.”
 
The Hilltoppers (1-1) only went to the air twice and completed one of those passes for eight yards. But that was all part of the plan for Cheek who decided to run the ball directly at the Polk defense.
 
“We knew Polk had seven kids playing both ways and four of them were on the defensive line,” Cheek said. “In all the film we saw, Polk got tired as the game went on.”
 
Although scoring 42 points on offense is nice, Cheeks understands that allowing 33 on defense is a concern, especially with teams like Shelby lurking on the schedule.
 
“We can’t expect to run for 400 yards on Shelby so we’ll have to throw the ball more than we have all year long,” Cheek said. “We figure we can move the ball on anybody we play, but against teams like a Shelby and other teams we’ll play, we can’t get into a shootout with them. We want to control the clock, move the ball down the field and score.”
 
The win ends a nine-game losing streak for the Hilltoppers as they avoid an 0-2 record heading into conference play and erases the sting of the loss to McDowell.
 
“From our point of view we could be 2-0,” Cheek said. “We had every opportunity to win the first game but we let it go. We had two weeks to get over that loss before Polk County and our kids came up big.”
 
R-S Central hosts Shelby this Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.