Vikes Face Jags for Homecoming
Tonight is homecoming at Union Pines, as the Vikings host the Overhills Jaguars in their 2011 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference football opener at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium.
“Coming off a big game last week, it was good to see our guys buckle down and get back to work,” said head Viking coach Ryan Riggan. “We’ve had a good week at practice, but still have a lot of items we need to improve on and we are working diligently to do so.”
A week ago, Union Pines defeated East Montgomery 28-24, getting the winning score in the closing seconds of the nonconference road game.
Riggan feels his team needs to use the momentum it built during that game and carry it with them out on the field for tonight’s kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
“We need to have that same drive and more this Friday as we continue to press forward,” Riggan said. “The most important thing for our team, as far as I’m concerned, is starting conference off at 1-0.
“Another great opportunity is there, right in front of us, and a win Friday would be huge.”
Standing on the other side of the field tonight will be an Overhills Jaguars team that enters the game at 0-4 on the season.
Despite the Jaguars’ record, Riggan knows better than to allow his team to take the Jaguars lightly.
“It seems like every year we play them, they are 0-and-something,” Riggan said, “and we are their coming-out party. This is a good football team we’re facing. Overhills has played a schedule that would have lots of teams looking at 0-4, and we’ve stressed that to our kids.”
Last season, Union Pines hit the road for its CFVC opener to face a (then) 0-5 Overhills team.
The outcome of that contest was a completely one-sided 40-0 romp by the homestanding Jags.
The Jaguars results this season, starting from week one, are a 41-6 loss at 4-A E.E. Smith, a 56-21 loss to 4-A Pinecrest, a 34-6 loss at 3-A Triton and a 27-21 loss last week to 4-A Harnett Central.
“Overhills will fully expect to come up here and jump on us quick,” Riggan said, “and I don’t think our team will let that happen.
“I believe we have a feeling around here that has been missing for some time — a sense of camaraderie — and each one of us is working together for one sole purpose.”
Last week, the Vikings scored on their opening drive of the game and never trailed by more than three points.
Riggan is counting on his charges again coming out ready and in go-mode from the first play Friday
“We need to come out fast and early again this week,” Riggan said. “We need to hit the field firing. When we have adversity, we need to stay positive and keep pressing forward.
“That’s what I expect from my guys. If we can do that we will be there in the fourth quarter and we will be fine.”
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