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Spartans looking for more offensive punch at Carrollton

Freshman running back Mahki White is brought down by a Higginsville defender late in Richmond’s loss to the Huskers Friday night. (Photo by Russ Green/Richmond News.)

Freshman running back Mahki White is brought down by a Higginsville defender late in Richmond’s loss to the Huskers Friday night. (Photo by Russ Green/Richmond News.)

By Russ Green-Sports Editor

Earlier this season, the Richmond Spartans rebounded from a humbling loss with one of their better performances of the year. Richmond coach Rob Bowers is hoping his team will answer last Friday night’s shutout loss to Higginsville in the same way.

Friday night, the Spartans look to even up their MRVC East record at 1-1 and spoil Homecoming activities when they travel to Carrollton to meet the Trojans.

Coach Greg Hough’s crew opened the conference season with a 48-13 blowout of the Panthers at Knob Noster last week. The Trojans are 2-3 overall.

In order for the Spartans to chalk up their fourth straight win over Carrollton, the offense will have to get going. Richmond managed just four first downs last week, and that allowed Higginsville to run 64 plays from scrimmage, which was 30 more snaps than the Spartans had.

“Offensively we could not get anything going and kept going three and out over and over,” Bowers said. “That put a ton of pressure on our defense. The first half defensively, we played pretty well and that kept us in the game, but you just can’t give a good team that many opportunities.”

The Huskers kept a lot of defenders in the box and kept the pressure up all night. Bowers expects the Trojan defense to do the same as they switch back and forth between the 3-4 base to the 5-2 defense.

“As young and inexperienced as we are, we sometimes get confused and make mistakes scheme-wise,” Bowers said. “Friday night, we just did not block things correctly at all. Hopefully just going back over it this week and trying to get back to the basics will help us do a better job of handling that.”

The Trojans opened the season with three straight losses (28-14 at Trenton, 30-6 to No. 2 ranked Class 2 Westran, and 41-14 at Odessa). Since that rocky opening, Carrollton has bounced back with a 41-6 win over Kansas City East at home, and last week’s victory at Knob Noster.

The Carrollton defense returns seven starters from last season and features a good linebacking crew with Luke Wozny, a second-team, all-conference selection heading up the group. Three-year starter Keaton Sullivan anchors the defensive line and moves to nose guard, while the secondary has three starters back from last year’s team.

“Their D-line is pretty active and they get after it,” Bowers said. “Our offensive line will have to play better and we just need to play better offensively, period. We need to move the ball and score when we have the chance and try to help our defense out.”

The complete story is in the Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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