Coverage Breakdown: Coldwater @ Vardaman
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Corey Ward—Since the rebirth of the Coldwater football program, Corey Ward has spent time at the signal caller position for the Cougars. Just a freshman, Ward has a stellar arm and with experience could lead Coldwater back to the success that they experienced a few years ago. He certainly has enough athletes around him to make it happen. How well he performs as the season progresses as a member of a young team will be key to how the football program progresses in the weeks and years to come.
Jamal Cummins—A lot of questions surround this Coldwater team, and one of them revolves around the quarterback position. The aforementioned Corey Ward will split time at signal-caller with Jamal Cummins. Cummins is slightly taller than Ward and plays both sides of the football like his field general counterpart. Keep an eye on which Cougar quarterback plays the best game and who could land more playing time going forward. The quarterback position is obviously key to any team, and a somewhat inexperienced team is no exception.
Terrance Mack—The Cougars are led on defense by a talented defensive end in Terrance Mack. Mack is listed at 6’3 and 178 pounds, and uses every bit of that size to his advantage in bringing down ballcarriers. His size is matched with a swift speed that will make him difficult to defend for the Rams’ offensive tackles and could help the Cougars stop the speed of the Vardaman offense.
Trae Owen—The Ram quarterback picked up his first passing touchdown of the season last week in a strike to the athletic Kody Townsend and looks to build off that success this week. Owen helped his team rebound nicely after a blowout loss to South Pontotoc in week one in last week’s demolishing of the Bruce Trojans. If Owen can take care of the football tonight on a wet field, he could have a big game.
Patrick Pratt—Last week’s SES Player of the Game for the Bruce—Vardaman matchup was the Ram tailback and cornerback. Pratt scored three touchdowns against the Bruce Trojans, one of which came on his 16th career intercepted pass. Pratt’s running ability and coverage on defense will be vital in containing the Cougars’ speed and athleticism. As Patrick Pratt progresses in his career, he will be an exciting talent to watch grow and blossom.
Kody Townsend—The man that hauled in Owen’s first touchdown pass of the season is looking for more tonight. Townsend is utilized as the Rams’ new Brandon Washington, who graduated last year as the Rams’ leader in all-purpose yards from a season ago. Townsend contributes in both the passing and running games as well as on defense. Vardaman will try to get the ball into his hands by any means necessary.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Although Coldwater is 0-2 and Vardaman is just 1-1, the circumstances surrounding these programs are very different. Coldwater did not field a team last season, and the program is in an extreme rebuilding phase as a result. The Cougars had to fight tooth-and-nail to keep their school open and eventually managed to do so, but not before the decay of the athletic programs. Coldwater is now basically starting from scratch and is playing for pride as an MHSAA independent this season. If you need an underdog to root for this year, Coldwater is your team.
With that being said, keep an eye on how the Cougars perform in Week 3. So far, Coldwater has lost in blowouts to Hamilton and H.W. Byers, which is to be expected with a new coaching staff and an inexperienced team. Improvement from week to week will be key not just for this season but the future of the program as a whole.
For Vardaman, pay attention to the turnover category. So far this season, if Vardaman has had an Achilles Heel, it has been turnovers. The Rams turned the ball over six times in their loss to South Pontotoc and even struggled with them slightly in their blowout win over Bruce. Vardaman will need to tighten up that area with region play beginning next week against French Camp.
The young Ram has shown his athleticism in multiple aspects since last year, and his skills will be utilized on all sides of the ball this season. Look for the rising star to make some noise tonight at Carter Field.