Winfield Preview: Nothing to Gain everything to lose!
Honestly Redskin fans if we head back home tomorrow night with another "War on 34" victory secured will we be hooping and hollering and blasted our car horns???? I seriously doubt it!
Oh don't get me wrong we will be content with the 9th victory in a row in this series, and 23rd of the last 24, over our cross town rival, but no one will be exactly overjoyed, right?
But if we were to lose????? Cmon that cant happen.........
It can and did at Winfield back in 2009 when the Generals shocked the Redskins 17-16. This loss low-lighted by a Winfield pick 6, coupled with a Redskin missed PAT and late FG, killed that season for Hurricane. Cameron Cooper was a senior on that Redskin team, "I'm still not over that loss, I'll hold it forever. I played college football (at Bethany college) and now live in Nashville, and it still bothers me"
That 2009 Redskin team was NOT a bad squad, rather they were a talented team, one year removed from having one of the best seasons in recent memories (a season that ended in the infamous brawl after a South Charleston playoff loss).
So that is the situation that Hurricane is faced with, win and it is a ho-hum victory, lose and it is a travesty.
It comes down to focus. "The last 2 games against Winfield we have won the turnover battle," says Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor, "it's a cliche but if we win the turnover battle we win the game."
Taylor and the Redskins will see exactly what their revamped offense has to offer against the Generals. Only 4 starters return from a solid and balanced attack from a year ago. 4 new starters along the line and 3 new receivers will be a key to Hurricane's success. Both R.J. Engel and Nate Barham will look to step in and provide quality targets for QB Nathan Roy. Meanwhile the newly structured offensive line, led by center Dalton Geter, will be opening holes for returning stud RB Christian Hill.
Taylor commented, "our offense has to be able to keep drives alive and the defense needs to get Winfield behind the sticks to get them out of their power run game."
The defense will be led by returning tackling machines at linebackers JT Cooper (125 tackles) and Cameron Kimble (115 tackles)
Additionally 7 other Hurricane defenders are returning and should be battle tested as they enter the 2018 season. The starting defense was intact for only 1 half of play during the pre-season and help Riverside to 3 points.
As far as Winfield is concerned Coach Snyder is also tasked with replacing nearly all his skill positions on offense.
Nick Vance who played running back until getting hurt last year, replaces Andrew Huff a 4 year starter at quarterback. Vance does so without any weapons with experience.
The Generals best defensive force lies in linebacker John Covert who collected accolades as a freshman last season.
The Redskins need to remove the emotion of this rivalry and treat this opening game as a business trip of sorts. Do their job, grab the "W" and prepare for the gauntlet that follows.
Hurricane 31 Winfield 11