Wednesday, September 5, 2012
It is The Battle of Lake Moultrie.
Two top ten teams … Class AA third-ranked Timberland playing its annual game against Class A fifth ranked Cross. Both teams are 2-0 and both have won impressively.
The Wolves, who Coach Art Craig has dubbed his “Cardiac Kids” have won over Hanahan and 10th ranked Manning in the last minute. Craig has said he can’t go on all season winning games this way, but so far his team simply refuses to lose. “They go on and on and on until they find a way to win,” he said.
In the Hanahan game Darrelle Pressley forced a fumble with 1:13 left in the game and the ball was scooped up in stride by Roderick McCray, who rumbled 30 yards for the winning score.
Some fans called the play a lucky bounce. I think it’s more a case that good teams put themselves in position to win so when the ball does take a fair bounce, or any bounce for that matter, they are there to capitalize on it.
That kind of play has become the Timberland way.
The Trojans have steamrolled over their two opponents, winning big last week over C.E. Murray 41-14.
On facing third ranked Timberland, Cross Coach Shaun Wright appreciates the opportunity Craig gives his school and his program to take a shot at them each year.
“People ask me, why do you play Timberland?” he said. “Well, Lake View plays Dillon and that’s a given every year. It’s one of those deals where maybe one of these years we may be able to beat them.”
Wright said the chance to beat Timberland would be a major lift for his program and the community.
“One win against Timberland would satisfy our community for years,” he said. “It’s that opportunity to play them that is special. I really appreciate Art for playing us because truly he has nothing to gain but everything to lose by playing us.”
No one has more respect for Art Craig than Shaun Wright.
During last year’s Class AA Division I state championship game against Woodruff, Wright patrolled the sidelines in Craig’s shadow as if he were a part of the coaching staff himself. According to Craig he even suggested a few plays.
Timberland is the Trojans’ biggest non-region football game on the schedule, and every year they strive to give the Wolves a competitive game.
With both teams being ranked this year in their respective classes, Friday night’s game may be better than any previous encounter over the past five years.
“We are glad to be 2-0, and as a staff we look forward to facing Timberland,” Wright said. “I told my coaches today that the difference in us and Timberland is that out of Art’s 50 players, 45 of them have done everything they were supposed to do over summer. Out of our 31 players, 15 have done the right thing.
“So now I must ask our 15 players to play against his 45.”
Wright said his team could play the perfect football game on Friday night and still not win.
“It’s going to take heart and effort,” he said. “Art Craig is a tireless worker and he is one of the best motivators I have ever been around. If you don’t believe me ask Manning and Hanahan, two of the best 3A teams in the state.”
I guess we’ll see Friday night.
As for you, just read the story to your right.