Archived Story

Time to finish strong

Published 7:51pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

For the Horseshoe Bend Generals and the Central of Coosa County Cougars, this season has not gone as expected.
However, both teams have the chance to cap the season with a victory – although it will have to come at the expense of each other as the Generals head to Rockford to take on the Cougars.
Horseshoe Bend (2-7, 0-7 in region) shutout the Cougars (2-7, 2-5 in region) last season to the tune of 28-0.
According to Generals football coach Jason Franklin, the team understands that it will have to play its best to get its third win of the year.
“The guys have been positive,” Franklin said. “We want to end the season on a high note, and we have to go out there and put a complete game together. If we can finish strongly, I think it could carry over through the off-season and even into next season.”
For the Cougars, a strong game from its defense – led by Tre Royal – would go a long way into a successful defense of Central of Coosa County’s home turf.
Franklin said neutralizing Royal would be important for the Generals, but added that the Cougars have other players that should be gameplanned against as well.
“You have to know where (Royal)  is,” Franklin said. “They flip him around a lot. Sometimes he’s on the line and other times he’s in any of the linebacker positions. He’s a tremendous athlete and he makes plays for them, but it’s not just him. We play assignment football and we have to focus on everyone.”
Both the Cougars and Generals have had to fend off the injury bug.
For Franklin, injuries have hit the team hard, as top running back Drew Hill – who has missed several weeks with a knee injury – won’t be available for this regular-season finale.
“Injury-wise, this has probably been the toughest year we’ve had,” Franklin said. “Barring anything else, we’re hoping to be as close to 100 percent as we can be.”
Royal also leads a Cougars passing offense that has started to come on late. In addition, JaTerrius Vincent and Marquise Simmons have flashed ability at receiver.
Franklin said the team would count on strong play from Antwan Hardnett, Jordan Funderburk and the Generals secondary to keep the Cougars’ outside weapons under wraps.
“He’s been a surprise for us,” Franklin said of Hardnett. “Our secondary was kind of limbo when we had to move Jordan to the cornerback position, but Antwaan has played well. But we’re going to have to defend the pass well as a unit to slow them down.”
HBHS and CHSCC kick off at 7 p.m. Friday from Central Stadium.