Friday, September 4, 2009

No place like home

By Shane Mettlen 825-0771, ext. 127
Published: September 4, 2009

Motivation shouldn’t be a problem when Eastern View High School takes the field tonight against visiting Louisa.

After all, the Cyclones weren’t exactly thrilled with their 26-12 opening victory against Culpeper and the Lions were one of three teams that beat Eastern View a year ago.

“Last week was eye opening because last week we came out a little bit cocky, thinking we were going to blow them out,” EVHS linebacker Shawn Ferris said. “And Louisa has been beating us ever since I was in middle school so we definitely got to do something about that.”

Ferris is one of the Cyclones that will have his hands full against Louisa’s single-wing offense. The Lions return quarterback Dillon Hollins, who ran the misdirection offensive scheme and guided Louisa to a 7-3 record last season.

Along with Hollins, the Lions have running backs Andre Mealy and Rayshawn Jackson, who have the speed and strength to give Eastern View trouble. Defending Louisa coach Mark Fisher’s complicated offense is also a concern.

“Louisa is good and they’ve got players back from last year and they are running more option than they did last year,” EVHS coach Greg Hatfield said. “It’s a heck of a test for us. They are really hard to defend because they come out in the single-wing and then they’ll run the spread set and move guys around. Coach Fisher throws about 48 different formations at you a game. You have to be solid defensively and sound with what you are doing.”

But defense has been a strength for the Cyclones thus far. After shutting out Fauquier in a preseason scrimmage, Eastern View limited Culpeper to just 162 yards, one offensive touchdown and forced five turnovers.

Ferris said he and fellow linebacker Bilial Williams will have to continue to play well and be ready for Louisa’s misdirection.

“We know we’ve got to bring it because they are tough boys and like to hit,” Ferris said. “Me and Bilial have to be at the top of everything because we are at the center of the defense and if they get by us there’s not a lot there except the end zone. If me and Bilial aren’t on our game it’s going to be a long night.”

Offensively, it was a bit of a tumultuous week for the Cyclones, who had two players quit the team in backup quarterback Cody Jenkins and running back Kyle Schubert. But the Cyclones seem prepared to move forward with Simon Pendleton as the solid No. 1 quarterback.

Pendleton had a solid varsity debut, throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more in the win over Culpeper. Schubert had been sharing carries with Moses Washington and Alquan Newman, among others.

Washington and Newman will likely get the bulk of the carries with Pendleton, who rushed 13 times for 52 yards last week, also contributing to the running game. The Eastern View offensive line will be charged with the task of keeping senior defensive end Ryan Bullock out of the Cyclones’ backfield.

Hatfield knows the Cyclones face a tough test, but believes Eastern View has the talent to pull off a victory.

“They are a tough team,” he said. “But we like our guys and we’re going to show up and play our best and give it everything we got. Our guys seem to be up for the challenge and we’re excited to be able to play somebody like that.”

The Culpeper Star-Exponent
471 James Madison Highway, Suite 201
Culpeper, VA 22701


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