Vikings Host Jags in Cape Fear Opener
The Union Pines Vikings begin their Cape Fear Valley conference football campaign tonight at 7:30 p.m., when they play host to the Overhills Jaguars at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium.
Last week the Vikes had a bye and head coach Jason Furrie admitted the open week was beneficial.
"It was a positive," Furrie said, "because it gave us a little more time to prepare and polish some things that needed to be addressed, as well as add a few wrinkles here and there."
The Vikings finished their non-conference campaign with a record of 2-2. In its two wins Union Pines was able to establish a strong ground attack on offense, while not allowing any big plays on defense. Untimely turnovers, an ineffective passing game and some shaky secondary play plagued the team in its two losses.
Overhills comes into tonight's game with a record of 1-3, having scored 123 points and allowing 146. After opening the season with a 33-12 win at home to 1A Red Springs, the Jaguars lost three straight games to 4A schools.
Their No. 1 weapon on offense is Tyree Massey. The sophomore running back has scored four touchdowns on the ground while averaging 110 rushing yards per game and 6.4 yards a carry. Junior running back Christian Moultrie, a big play back with speed, is averaging 4.6 yards a carry and has six rushing touchdowns.
The Jags' top receiver, senior Miguel Harrison, comes into the game averaging 21 yards a catch with three scores. He is also dangerous on special teams where he averages 35 yards per kick return.
Furrie feels that traditionally Overhills has been a very big and very fast football team.
"This year they have a few guys that are really big," Furrie said, "but they do have some average-sized guys that are really fast. So it is going to be a challenge to try to contain the four or five guys that can score from anywhere on the field.
"Their offense has put up a lot of points, and if they catch a crease or a wedge, then they can take it the distance."
After two weeks of practice, Furrie is optimistic in terms of how his defense will perform on the field tonight.
"We have worked on basics," Furrie said, "really focusing on tackling and positioning. The most crucial thing is for our guys to know where they should line up and what their keys are. Then once the time comes, we need to execute and make the tackle."
As usual, Furrie believes his team must take care of the ball on offense and limit penalties.
"That is something we need to do every game we play -- period," said Furrie. "It is just the way we have to be, and we can certainly do that against Overhills.
"If we can eliminate mistakes, then we have the ability to control the football. However, to control the football you still have to score. Being able to control the clock is nice but when we get inside the 20 (yard line) we have to finish drives off and put the ball in the end zone."
F.W. Manning II can be reached by cell at (910) 639-5481 or at email@example.com
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