The Berea Community football team looks to get back on the winning track tonight at district rival Lynn Camp (2-4) following a week off.
The Pirates (3-3) are coming off a 47-14 loss at Ludlow two weeks ago.
The scoring margin is a little deceptive.
The Pirates defense actually played very well in that game, giving up only 200 yards total offense to the Panthers.
But as has been the case at times this season, the Berea special teams allowed several big plays which set the Panthers up with a short field in which to score.
The bye week came at a good time because it allowed coaches to give the players a few days away from football to heal some of the bumps and bruises that accumulated through the first five six games.
“Our No. 1 priority was to get some of our injuries under control and I think we are back to full strength after giving them a few days off to rest a little bit, and I feel good about that,” Berea coach Adam Coleman said.
It also gave them a chance to put some extra focus on special teams.
“We spent the off week focusing on some individual stuff with kids that we can’t do in a regular practice,” Coleman said. “We worked quite a bit on special teams because it has been somewhat of a nemesis for us. We spent one whole practice on special teams.”
Statistically, the Pirates have some players who are putting up some good numbers.
Running back Jason Strong leads Berea in rushing with 38 carries for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Cory Mowery has 235 yards rushing on 33 carries and Deondre Tate has 162 yards on the ground on 31 carries and Josh Lamb has added 95 yards on 22 carries.
Tate is also the Pirates’ leading receiver with 553 yards and six touchdowns on 23 receptions.
Brenton Phillips has 14 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns, while Strong has 12 catches for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Jacob Stamper has six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Kevin Reed is just shy of 1,000 yards passing in six games. He enters tonight’s game with 995 yards on 59-of-134 pass attempts. He has thrown 12 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Defensively, 11 Pirates have recorded double-digits in tackles. Mowery leads the way with 59 tackles including 24 solo, Sam Shearer has 41 tackles, 19 solo. Tate has 33 tackles, 14 solo.
Derrick Isaac has 32 tackles, 18 solo, while Phillips has 26 tackles, 11 solo, Joey Rister has 22 tackles, Strong has 18 tackles, Jacob Stamper has 15 tackles, Daniel Lawniczak has 14 tackles, Michael Clemmons has 12 tackles and Josh Lamb has 10 tackles.
The match-up with the Panthers looks like a pretty good one for Berea.
Lynn Camp enters the game off a 28-22 win over Clinton County last week.
The Panthers have scored only 90 points on the season, while giving up 240 to their opponents.
They are led by quarterback Austyn Weddle and running backs Jordan Steele and Keanu Nolen.
Steele is the main offensive threat. He has carried the ball 52 times for 268 yards and one touchdown. He also has caught four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Nolen has 37 rushes for 168 yards and a touchdown.
They don’t throw a lot, but when they do, Brown has connected on 14-of-37 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown. He also has two interceptions.
Coleman said the game will come down to how his team executes its gameplan and its assignments, do that and the Pirates can come away with a win.
“They came out last week and got a big win so they’re going to be ready for us and that’s always a tough place to play,” Coleman said. “We’re planning for them to run and throw both. But we just need to execute on defense and offense. Unfortunately we lost a couple of games where we didn’t execute. So that is always a key for us and if we do that, we’ll be OK.”
There has been a lot of rain this week and more is forecast for tonight, so the Pirates have tried to prepare for the sloppy conditions as well.
“We know the field is going to be wet, and we have to be prepared for conditions during the game as well,” Coleman said. “Fortunately the last two days we have had to practice later after storms went through so we have practiced in the same type conditions we’ll face today. But I think we’re as ready for it as we can be.”