Gryphons prepared for winless Rams

Oct. 04, 2013 @ 05:13 AM

What better way to prepare for conference play than by facing a conference foe in a game that does not count in the standings? That’s the situation the Thomas Jefferson Gryphons find themselves in as they travel to face the Highland Tech Rams tonight.

“It’s a unique situation,” said TJCA head coach Jerry Cash. “This was originally supposed to be our bye week, but a team dropped us and we had to pick up another game. Luckily, it worked out for both sides and now we are ready to go.”

The Gryphons also host Highland Tech to close out the regular season on Nov. 8. The prospect of playing a team twice doesn’t concern Cash, however.

“Normally, if a team plays somebody twice they don’t show everything in the first game,” he said. “I’m not worried about that. Our playbook is pretty deep. We can still show them a lot of formations and have plenty of stuff left over for the next time. We are going to show them what we need to, to win.”

The Gryphons may not need to dig deep in the playbook to defeat the Rams. Highland Tech is winless on the season (0-5) and has been outscored 197-19. Even so, Cash remains cautious.

“You can’t afford to take anybody lightly,” he said. “What concerns me is they run all kinds of formations on offense to try and get things going. They run a little Wing-T. They run a little I-Formation. They run a little option and a little spread. One week they run one thing and the next week, they run something else. Then the next week they run all of them. We have to prepare for a lot of things this week and that should help us down the road a little bit.”

When the Gryphons have the ball, they will face a blitzing 3-3 defense which will force quarterback Mason Martin to make quick decisions with the football.

“We are going to try and build on what we did last week in the passing game,” said Cash. “Mason had a great game last week and we need that to continue. Of course, we want to establish the run, and that will open up opportunities in the passing game.”

Even though the main goal for tonight is to win the game, Cash has an eye on the rest of the season.

“We just have to get through this game healthy so we can make a push for a conference championship starting next week. It won’t be easy because we won’t be at home for a month. We can’t complain, because that’s just the way the schedule turned out. If we can stay healthy and continue to get better, I think it (a conference title) is very possible.”

Kickoff for tonight’s game is slated for 7:30 p.m.