By Russ Green-Sports Editor
It will be Heat Bowl II Friday night as the Richmond Spartans host O’Hara in the opening contest of the 2014 football season. Just like last year, the kickoff has been moved back one hour to 8 p.m. at Tom Adams Field as the Spartans and Celtics collide. Richmond and O’Hara battled in the heat in last year’s season-opener with the Spartans taking advantage of their conditioning to grab a 42-36 come-from-behind victory.
“We preach to our kids all year long that what we do in the summer will win them football games, and last year that proved to be correct,” said Rob Bowers who begins his 18th year leading the Spartans. “We won that because we were in better shape.”
Richmond dealt with rain at last Friday night’s jamboree in Smithville. Overall, Bowers thought it was a good look at his team – that although it returns seven starters – is still relatively young.
“The jamboree is really important because you get to see ones versus ones,” he said. “You can’t duplicate a varsity team with your second team, so going against another team gave us a chance to see things we need to work on and things we were doing well.”
Bowers said the offensive execution and pass protection was good, but there were a few concerns.
“We need to catch the ball better and there are some little things like the three or four little penalties that hurt us,” he said. “Those will kill drives so we need to get that cleaned up.”
He added the defense showed good speed and ran to the ball well. The mistakes made defensively against Smithville are easily correctable Bowers said.