Wednesday, November 20, 2013
All they want to be is the last team standing.
The Timberland Wolves take it one week and one step at a time, and look no further than their own sideline when worrying about who they play next.
Still, the schedule is out there and after the Wolves dispensed with the Aynor Blue Jackets with relative ease 42-0 at home last week, the 9-2 Loris Lions stand next in line on Friday night.
It’s one down, two more to go until Columbia.
“I thought the kids played real well considering we had the week off,” said THS Coach Art Craig. “We came out and set the tone of the game early. We had the ball four times in the first half and scored all four times.”
If anyone is keeping count, that’s 27 touchdowns in the last 29 possessions.
“We’re taking it just one week and one game at a time,” Craig said. “It’s amazing to see the maturity of this team over the last six weeks and how they really bought in to the whole team concept.
“The improvement we’ve seen since week six until now has been amazing.”
Craig praised his staff for doing “an outstanding job.
“It’s great to see how far we’ve come since we’ve lost to Berkeley,” he said. “We have focused more on the whole team concept as opposed to who scored the touchdowns or got their names in the paper.
“Since then we’ve gotten back to what is Timberland football. It’s really been fun to see.”
Against the Blue Jackets tailback V.A. Harmon carried the ball 21 times for 157 yards and scored four touchdowns.
“V.A. has put the team on his shoulders this year and that’s rallied the team to step up their game around him,” Craig said.
Harmon has amassed 1,411 yards rushing over Timberland’s 11 games this season.
With a record of 6-0 since he took over the quarterback job following the loss to Berkeley, Matt Gabel was 6-for-7 through the air with a pair of touchdown passes to Roger Rembert and Zeke Padgett.
“We made the change at quarterback after the Berkeley game because we felt we needed senior leadership there,” Craig said. “Matt had the same thing happen to him last season. The kids are buying into the team concept and it shows.”
The key, Craig said, has been in the maturity of his offensive line, the unsung heroes in the trenches.
“You be sure to mention these guys,” Craig said. “They have matured as a line and a big reason we can do what we do as an offense is because of our line.”
Cody Wadford, Lance Lambert, Kevin McCray, Deangelo Cleveland and Josh Alston, according to Craig, “have all come into their own this second half of the season,” he said. “Deangelo and Josh have been solid up front. We would not be where we are this season without them.”
On defense Craig said Darelle Pressley, Johnell Brown, Brandon Simmons and Za’Von Whitaker have kept a lot of opponents out of the end zone.
The seventh ranked Loris Lions will prove to be Timberland’s toughest opponent since Hanahan and the Wolves’ first real test in almost two months.
“They’re probably the fastest team we’ve seen on defense since we’ve played Hanahan,” Craig said. “They don’t give up a lot of points. They’re solid all around. They’re solid on offense.”
So are the Wolves.
Kickoff on Friday at Timberland is at 7:30 p.m.