Most people don’t like the rain. Especially football teams.
Playing in the rain makes playing conditions difficult. The football becomes slippery and hard to hold, and the offense becomes basically one dimensional as throwing the football is nearly impossible in wet conditions.
This type of weather is probably one that coaches hope to avoid, except for Green’s Ted Newsome.
Green will take on Hannan (W. Va.) on Saturday afternoon, where rain is expected to continue to fall in Franklin Furnace, even at the 1 p.m. kickoff time. The Bobcats rescheduled the game for Saturday after it was originally planned to take place Friday night at 7 p.m.
Newsome’s Bobcats employ a wishbone offense that relies heavily on running the football, which fits perfectly for the forecast of heavy rains.
The Bobcats defeated Hannan 60-0 last season, and the Wildcats enter the game 0-1 after losing 40-0 to Montcalm last week.
Still, Newsome isn’t looking past the school from the Mountain State.
“They’re a physical team, on film they like to come right at you and run it,” Newsome said. “They’ve [also] got a couple pretty athletic kids they want to get down the field and throw it to.”
The concern for Newsome lies in Hannan’s ability to throw the ball, though he feels that the weather conditions might negate their chances to consistently move the ball through the air.
“They do have the potential to throw the ball,” Newsome said. “Their first week, they threw the ball quite a bit. They got behind Montcalm a couple times with some long passes.”
Newsome added “hopefully with the weather it may deter them from putting it up in the air. If we can keep them from throwing it and keep their passing game under control, I think we match up pretty well with them.”
If the Wildcats are able to throw the ball, Newsome hopes that his team is better equipped to defend the pass this week than they were last week.
“In week one, we didn’t do a very good job defending the pass,” Newsome said. “So, we’re trying to devise some things where maybe we can get after the quarterback a little bit better.”
Aside from the weather, Newsome said he has made some changes to the lineup in hopes of adding some more speed. Most notably, Newsome and his staff have moved sophomore Caleb Derifield from outside linebacker to defensive end to try and add some quickness on the edge.
On offense for the Bobcats, they had a lot of success in their opener despite the final score. Green rushed for 358 yards, but had several drives stall due to penalties and mental mistakes. Newsome hopes his team has corrected that leading up to this game.
“We shot ourselves in the foot with untimely penalties, mental errors, and we didn’t clean that up,” Newsome said. “We’ve preached and talked all week about the mental side of it that really cost us last week.”
With the expected conditions, the weather might play perfectly into the hands of Green’s coaching staff and what they want to do on offense.
“We’re not a quick hit offense, we’re not a team that’s going to hit homeruns,” Newsome said. “But, we’ll hit you for singles and doubles. We’ll hit you for five yards, six yards, four yards – and that’s the game we want to play.”
Still, even though the Bobcats like to run the ball, they still have to brave the same conditions as the Wildcats.
“Both teams have to deal with the same thing, but the good thing is we’re at home and they have to come here,” Newsome said. “So hopefully, that will be an advantage for us.”
Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 or on Twitter @BSpicerPDT
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