By J. SCOTT SEWELL | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crestwood High School football team has gotten off to a terrible start with a pair of blowout losses. For their third game, the Knights will be taking on a squad in pretty much the same situation.CHS will travel to Columbia today for a 7:30 p.m. contest against Richland Northeast, which is also looking to right its ship after a lopsided season-opening loss.
The two 4A teams have been near mirror images of each other with Crestwood losing to West Florence 23-0 in its season opener before falling to fellow Sumter School District School Sumter 63-2. RNE opened its season last week, falling to 5A River Bluff 55-6.
Between West Florence and Sumter, both 5A powerhouses, Crestwood has played perhaps the toughest schedule in the state so far this season.
“It’s going to pay off for us,” said Crestwood head coach Roosevelt Nelson. “The main thing is the guys just gotta keep hammering away at it. We definitely played one of the toughest schedules in the state our first two games. Even dating back to the (Sumter Sertoma Football) jamboree when we played Irmo,another 5A school. It’s definitely been a tough 3-game stretch.”
Nelson hopes the grueling schedule pays dividends when the Knights’ schedule softens up a bit later in the season.
“We’re going to be battle-tested,” said Nelson. “We came up on the short end of the stick the last two weeks. Seeing what we’ve seen is definitely going to prepare us for Friday and moving forward.”
Richland Northeast brings with it a spread offense thirsty to find the end zone. The Cavaliers will be playing their only true home game of the season.
“It’s a home-campus game for them, and they only play one game a year there,” said Nelson. “It should be an exciting environment for our kids to go play in.”
The Knights will be looking for revenge after the Cavaliers picked up their only victory of the season over Crestwood last season. Nelson knows his team is going to have to do a better job defensively if it wants to return the favor on Friday night.
“They’re going to be in the spread, and their big quarterback likes try to get into space with his legs and also try beat you with his arm,” said Nelson. “We definitely gotta keep everything in front us. We gotta tackle well, tackle in space, and get back on the right track.”
The Knights missed a day of practice because of Hurricane Dorian, but Nelson knows his team will be ready to go when it gets to Columbia.
“We’re looking forward to (Friday’s game),” said Nelson. “We gotta get back on the field. Everything that could’ve gone wrong (last week) went wrong. Everybody has the challenge this week to step up.They have to do their job to the best of their ability. Don’t come out without putting the team first.”
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