Valdosta Daily Times

September 10, 2013

Wildcat defense prepares for Crisp County

Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — With another victory under their belts, the Valdosta High Wildcats have another tough week of practice coming up as they prepare to take on the Crisp County Cougars (2-0) on Friday night.

Last week, the Wildcats got a solid win over the Brooks County Trojans. The defense was able to stop one of the top prospects coming out of the state of Georgia and that is something not to be overlooked.

At Monday's practice, the Wildcats named their players of the week: Mac Loudermilk for his special teams duties, Alex Cason for his offensive game, including a 70- plus yard touchdown reception, and linebacker Terrell Roundtree for the defense.  

In preparation for the upcoming game, the Wildcats are prepared to take on a defense that showcases a plethora of blitzes in addition to a zone read offense, that will be similar to what the Wildcats saw last week against Brooks County and the previous week against Thomas County Central.

As far as the Wildcat offense is concerned, the team will continue to work on the improvement of the offensive line blocking. With the nice play of running backs Malcolm Joseph and Nelson Herring, the Wildcats should be able to take advantage of some of the blitzing fronts Crisp will likely give.

Watch for the Wildcats to implement screen passes to the running backs and receivers to soften up the amount of blitzes Crisp will use.

“They play an odd stack defense, three down linemen and five linebackers, and they bring the house. We are practicing on getting accustomed to the types of blitzes we will see,” said offensive lineman coach Mark Loudermilk.

Coach Rance Gillespie was not available to comment on the quarterback play and position.

Expect to see Herring and Joseph get a heavy work load in the game.

“They don’t need much. The last few games they’ve (RB’s) have small gaps and took advantage of them on long runs,” said Loudermilk.

On the defensive side of the ball, look for the Wildcats to continue to cause turnovers and disruption in the backfield. With two games under their belt defending against the option, playing Crisp County should be easy for the Wildcats, playing a team that runs a similar scheme.

Once again, it will be imperative for the defense to stay on their assignments and make good tackles. Last week, the team struggled at times making open field tackles, and this is one thing coaches are working on to improve this week in practices.

“We didn’t tackle very well. We had seven turnovers which was huge, but we gave up a lot of yards and first downs and did not tackle well, so that will be a main focus this week,” said Defensive Coordinator Alan Rodemaker.

Last season, when the Wildcats took on the Cougars, the Wildcats won 45-0. This year, both teams come into Friday's game with 2-0 records.

The Wildcats will kick off their third game of the season Friday at 8 p.m. on Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.