McCain: No weak spot

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pleasant Home’s John Newby makes a tackle during Florala week. | File photo

Pleasant Home hosts Brantley this week

It could be “a long, long night” for the Pleasant Home Eagles as they play host to third-ranked Brantley on Friday at Eagles Field.

PHS is coming off of a bitter 48-6 loss to Geneva County last week. A game where the Eagles needed a win to earn the right to host the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.

Now, the Eagles are just trying to play for the third seed.

“It’s an extremely difficult challenge for us,” PHS head football coach Cody McCain said. “We’re coming off of a game where we didn’t play very well at all. We made a ton of mistakes. Geneva County took full advantage of the things we did wrong.

“Against Brantley, we’ve got to slow the game down first and foremost,” he said. “If we can’t sustain any drives, if we can’t move the ball and run that clock, it’s going to be a long, long night for us.”

The Eagles (4-3 overall, and 4-1 in Class 1A, Region 2) will face a Bulldogs football team who average about 53 points per game. BHS (7-0) beat McKenzie 68-7 last week.

Limiting the big plays is also of most importance for PHS, McCain said.

“That’s been a trait for us,” he said. “It’s been a continuous problem. We have to limit the big plays. Geneva County scored on several plays of over 30 yards. The majority of their touchdowns, if not all of them, were from big plays.

“Defensively, we’ve got to make them earn anything they get,” he said. “We can’t give them anything, which has been a problem for us lately.”

Each of Pleasant Home’s region opponents had played Brantley the week before, except for Red Level.

McCain said he’s seen a lot of film on them and noted that he’d hate to see the top two teams of Class 1A, who are above BHS in Marion County and Linden.

“There’s no weak spot on their team,” he said. “Everything they do is first-class. Their skill guys are always on the right spot. Their line is really, really strong this year.”

Capitalizing on its opponents’ mistakes is something BHS also does well, McCain said.

“If you’re in the wrong spot on defense, they’ll find that,” he said about the coaching. “On special teams, if you’re not down the field and covering, then they’ll return those punts and kicks for a touchdown. It’s just one of those things where they’re just so strong in every position.”

From here on out, Pleasant Home has only themselves to work on to get better going into the playoffs, the coach said.

“You hope that whoever you match up with in the first round is hopefully not as good as somebody that we’ve seen during the season,” McCain said. “That’s why we scheduled Cottonwood and Flomaton. Along with your region opponents just to make sure those opponents you’ve seen will give you a good look come playoffs time. For us, we think seeing Brantley in region play (will help us) in the first round.”

PHS starting quarterback Hunter Odom suffered a concussion during last week’s loss to GCHS and will be out of this week’s game.

Back up quarterback Jon Cole Chesser will take the starting spot this week, McCain said.

The other main concern for McCain this week is who is behind Chesser in the QB line up.

“You don’t want to get in a situation in a varsity game with the best team in the state throwing a 115-pound eighth grader at them,” he said. “We’ve got to find another varsity player who can be an option. John Newby played quarterback in past, even somebody like Corey Self can fill in the spot if need be.”

Kick off Friday night is at 7.