Updated Fri, Sep 23, 2011 10:49 am
The Sheridan Generals have been nothing short of dominant through four weeks of play. This Friday night, however, the talented but inexperienced boys from Thornville will likely be challenged when the Cambridge Bobcats roll into town.
Like the Generals, the ‘Cats boast an undefeated record and are led by a talented senior running back. Unlike Sheridan, Cambridge has been tested—and has prevailed—early on this season.
Cambridge is coming off a nail-biting 28-27 overtime win over D-II New Philadelphia, a game in which tailback Deshaun Lewis rushed for 234 yards on 40 carries for the ‘Cats. Lewis has put the team on his back so far in this young season, already amassing 13 touchdowns and nearly 750 yards rushing.
Sheridan coach Paul Culver Jr. is aware that Lewis is a major threat, even against a first-string Generals' defense that has yet to allow a point through four games, but said his team will not lose any sleep over the thought of facing him.
“Defense is essentially a pretty simple process,” Culver said. “You have to try to stop what the other team does best but you can’t become obsessed with a certain part of the game because a good football coach or a good team is going to take advantage of that.”
Of course, Culver is aware that he, too, has an extremely talented running back in Mitchell Fouch. Fouch ran for 214 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 15 carries en route to Sheridan’s 50-0 beat down of Crooksville last week. But don’t expect those numbers this week as Fouch and a young Generals’ offensive line will be tested by a very capable Cambridge defense.
“This is going to be probably our biggest test from the standpoint of the type of defense Cambridge will be running against us,” said Culver.
The Generals are ranked 8th in the state amongst D-III teams, according to this week’s AP poll, but Culver said the true face of his team will be shown Friday night.
“Things are still a mystery and we’ll find out even more things about the personality of this team come Friday, but they haven’t shown any anxiety,” he said.
The Generals defeated the ‘Cats 42-6 last season, but are returning just two starters on offense and three on defense from last year’s team that fell to Dover in the state quarterfinals. The ‘Cats were 5-5 last season and failed to make the playoffs.
Friday will present the perfect opportunity for the Sheridan Generals to prove that they are for real this season. Cambridge will undoubtedly be looking to avenge last season’s embarrassing loss, but they will have to do it 50 miles away from home in front of a sea of red.
Expect a fun, physical game Friday night.