Keeping opposing defensive coordinators up at night for at least a century. One of the most difficult offenses to have to face as a defense.
Just ask anyone that played against Randy McPherson and the Lowndes Vikings early in his tenure when he won three of four state championships with the it as the staple offense.
The Georgia Christian Generals have the task of defending the unique offense this Friday night, but they say they are prepared for the task.
The Generals (0-3) face Central Fellowship (2-1) and their wing-t this Friday in Macon. Central is on a two-game win streak that has included two shutouts and scoring more than 30 points in each game.
GCS has been preparing all week defensively and they like what they have seen against the scout team.
“Central runs that Wing-T,” head coach Chuck Knapp said. “They have been running it for a while, now. It’s up to us to make the adjustments this week. I feel like we have done well with that in practice. When you face the wing-t, you have to change the entire defense for a week. There are just so many things going on pre-snap and even after the snap. Lots of moving pieces. Central does a good job with it. Facing the Wing-T is like having a knife fight in a phone booth; it’s mass chaos on every play. We just have to play smart football.”
Sounds like a chaotic scene.
The Generals want to focus on playing their game, one play at a time. Coach Knapp’s message to his team is always to take the game one play at a time. Play your best in that play and then on to the next.
“This team we’re facing is a blue-collar team; a lunch-pail to work kind of group,” Knapp said. They hustle on every play. You can tell that they are coached up and coached up well. They show a lot of good things on film. They are a tough-nosed team, man”
“We have been working all week to change the defense,” Knapp continued. “That’s what you have to do when you face a team like this. You have to re-teach philosophies; have emphasis on flying to the ball. I feel like this week, we have been responding well to those things.”
Offensively, the Generals have struggled this year. The final scores have not been a good indicator of how good the defense has actually looked, but the offense has only scored one touchdown in three games—making it tough to win.
According to Knapp, last Friday against Calvary the offense was finally able to get their legs under them despite not reaching paydirt.
Senior tailback Dante Sacco was able to reach the century mark for the first time this fall, finishing with 115 rushing yards.
“We were able to establish the run against Calvary,” Knapp said. “The offensive line was able to get going and that opened up the lanes for the running game. Sacco had the hot hand that night, so we kept feeding him. We have to make sure that we make the most of our touches on offense. Especially for this week because this team will try to drain the clock with all the running. For us, we have to get the run game going and pound the again. All that will do is open up the passing game for us.”
Senior Garrett Dowdy will lead the charge for the Generals again this week, and by the looks of things, for the rest of the season as sophomore sensation Seth Copeland is coming off of arm surgery.
While Dowdy had some miscues and bumps last week, he did show some good things. Going into a second full week as the starter, things are beginning to look brighter.
“We just want Dowdy to go in there and manage the play,” Knapp said. “You never want to tell a quarterback to manage the game, because that is a lot. We just want him to take care of things each play. We want him to take his time. He’s a competitive guy. We like that about him. He’s fiery out there and pays with a lot of passion. We just want him to relax a little so he can settle. Take it play by play.”
Cool. Calm. Collected. That’s what the Generals need from their senior signal-caller.
Coach Knapp saw great things from his defense last game and for most of the year, they have played well. He is looking for the entire unit to step up again this week, as they play an offense that can run it up, quite literally, quickly on you.
“The defensive line played well last week,” Knapp said. “We want the d-line to keep building on what we saw last week. The linebackers have played well all year. We want those guys to continue to fly to the ball. The secondary has done well. We want that to continue as well.”
Three Generals went down on defense in the last game. While it was a huge blow, the defense showed its depth and still finished strong. Knapp said there are no pressing injuries heading into the game, outside of Seth Copeland.
“You know at this stage of the season, you have your nicks and bruises,” Knapp said. “Everyone has those. But for the most part, we have everyone healthy. We have all pistols firing at this time.”
Hopefully for their sake, they won’t have a shootout to deal with, but they are prepared with all pistols on deck.
Georgia Christian will make the road trip to Macon to take on Central Fellowship on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30.