Cavaliers take on third road test in a row
Southern Lee (1-1) at St. Pauls (1-1) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - St. Pauls 42, Southern Lee 14
SANFORD - For the third straight Friday night starting the football season, Southern Lee hits the road. For the third straight Friday, the Cavaliers will be trying to avenge a loss from last season.
The Cavs convincingly did just that in a 23-6 win at Western Harnett. Northwood's offensive firepower denied the Cavaliers in a 56-31 game in Pittsboro last Friday.
Tonight, the Cavaliers will be trying to turn the tables against St. Pauls. Last August in Sanford, the Bulldogs built up a 26-0 halftime lead and beat the Cavaliers 42-14. St. Pauls piled up 261 passing yards and 251 rushing yards.
The Cavaliers and first-year head coach Don Simon would love to be going into the trip to Robeson County with a 2-0 mark. With a young squad learning a new coach's systems and schemes though, Simon said the setback versus Northwood needs to lead to important lessons just as a win does.
"We've been a lot more business-like (this week in practice). We realized we've got to regroup and refocus really quickly and I think the kids have done just that," Simon said.
With so many changes in the Cavalier program from last year at this point, the Cav focus headed into tonight isn't on last season's game versus the Bulldogs.
"Everything is different now. We have so many kids in different positions, entirely different systems. So we don't go back to last year," said Simon.
"We're on the right track. We just need to do a good job executing what we do," he said.
Cavalier quarterback Emond Caldwell has passed for 467 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions in two games. Junior Patrick Bunnell is the leading Cav rusher with 120 yards on 18 carries and overall the Cavs are gaining 5.3 yards per carry. Aaron Blockmon is the leading receiver with 19 catches for 326 yards.
St. Pauls (1-1) is coming in off a 26-0 win versus South Brunswick. Senior quarterback Malik Livingston is 12-for-30 passing for 106 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, while rushing for 162 yards, on the season. The Bulldogs went 9-4 overall and 4-2 in the 1A-2A Three Rivers last season.
After the third straight road trip, and after not playing a preseason scrimmage at home, the Cavaliers will get to host Triton next Friday. For tonight, though, the focus is executing better and bringing home a win. For facing three teams which handed the Cavs losses last season, getting two out of three wouldn't be bad.