Jack Jeffrey |Pinewood Prep Contributor
Pinewood Prep is set to face off against 2018, SCISA 3A state runner up First Baptist. Its a region matchup with the Cyclones sitting at 5-2 and the Panthers at 0-6.
First Baptist is coming off an emotional overtime loss 39-31 to Laurence Manning Academy. The Cyclones are on a two-game losing streak and have suffered some injuries, but look to get back on track at home against Pinewood.
Pinewood on the other hand is coming off of a home loss to Cardinal Newman 28-6. The Panthers kept it competitive the whole game but couldn’t quite find an offensive rhythm.
First Baptist certainly have the edge on paper, but Pinewood has the capability to keep the game close. “This week in practice we’ve been shoring up the defense and making sure we understand our gaps and assignments. Offensively we’ve been working on adding some new wrinkles, some screens and shorter passes. Thats been a big focus,” said the Panthers head coach Michael Wright.
First Baptist has relied heavily on their passing attack so far this season. That’s not a big surprise though, as Appalachian State commit, Sincere Brown is their number one option at receiver. Brown leads SCISA 3A with 749 yards and 6 touchdowns on the year. He will be looking to add to his impressive stat-line when he matches up with the Panthers. Pinewood’s secondary will have their hands full and they know it. “They tend to pass more than they run. Their run game isn’t bad but it’s not what it once was. We want to try to make them run. But they do have skill and speed and sometimes that trumps your best scheme but we’ll see what happens.
Pinewood’s defense has slowly but surely shown improvement on the year, continuously giving up less points each week for the past 3 weeks. A big part of that has been the addition of senior linebacker Raysheem Cherisol. Cherisol is coming off of an impressive game against Cardinal Newman and will look to carry he and his teammates momentum. “Its helpful having Ray he was here last year so he understands and has had a taste of what we need to be doing. He has definitely supported our other linebackers so his return has been very helpful to the team,” said Wright.
Pinewood is without a doubt the underdog heading into the game but they have made improvements all year long. With First Baptist dealing with some injuries, they won’t be able to take Pinewood as lightly as maybe they would in years past
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