SARATOGA SPRINGS — Two weeks after being shut out by Christian Brothers Academy, the Saratoga Springs football squad looks to correct a few mistakes in Friday night’s rematch against the Brothers in the opening round of the Section II Class AA playoffs.
“Our big thing going into that game two weeks ago and going into this game is to try to eliminate the big play, force them to have to drive the field with multiple plays on any given drive,” Saratoga Springs coach Terry Jones said. “Then we hope we can come up with a turnover or something like that.”
CBA shut out Saratoga 20-0 and was hurt by big plays from Donald Jones and Jamnir Pitcherin the second quarter before PItcher that sealed the win with an interception in the fourth quarter.
This Friday has to be different for the Blue Streaks.
“We obviously have to put points on the board and we have to try to maintain drives offensively,” Jones said. “The best defense against their offense is keeping them off the field, but that’s easier said than done. They’re very good up front [defensively] and they’re defensive ends are outstanding.”
That puts pressure on junior quarterback Rodell Evans III who faced the Brothers two weeks ago, his last start for Saratoga (5-4).
“When you see it in person it’s different than it is on film,” Evans III said. “On film you know they’re fast, but when you see it, it’s different. Now you’re ready and everything you do has got to be a little bit quicker.”
Evans III expects his reads and decisions to be quicker, but goes in with more knowledge against CBA (9-0).
“Everybody’s got a tendency, so if I know what a [linebacker/end] is going to do it doesn’t matter how fast he is. If I know where he’s gonna go or what his first couple of steps are, you can beat them.”
Captain and defensive end Christian Mello expects his defense to step up again against the explosive CBA offense.
“It was just two weeks ago so you feel better, you’re lining up more comfortably, getting adjusted and getting ready to go,” Mello said. “This week when we force them to bounce it outside we have to have the secondary come down and make that tackle, make them cut back inside to where everyone’s flowing.”
The Blue Streak staff is the underdog as the fourth-seed in the Section II Class AA playoffs and facing top-seeded CBA, ranked No. 7 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Poll.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on us at all and that’s the great thing,” Jones said. “I don’t anybody, outside of the team, on this field, I don’t think anyone expected us to be in the playoffs. I don’t think anyone expected us to match up with CBA the way we did and I don’t think anyone expects us to beat them this week.
“I think our kids are excited because they want to prove to themselves that we can play with anybody and they want to go down there and do it again. Hopefully we’re going to put some points on the board this time and see what happens.”