Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL - GAME OF THE WEEK ; Capital Gears Up for Spring Valley Ground Game

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL - GAME OF THE WEEK ; Capital Gears Up for Spring Valley Ground Game

Article excerpt

INSIDE: Previews of Fridays other games, including Buffalo at Fayetteville; schedule; statistics 4B

Capital coach Jon Carpenter has heard all about Spring Valley's massive offensive line, and knows that playing the Timberwolves on a muddy track might only complicate his team's attempts to stop their running attack. Evaluating Friday's 7 p.m. showdown between Class AAA playoff contenders and Mountain State Athletic Conference rivals probably has to start with Spring Valley's ground game, which has rolled up as many as 620 yards, that coming in a win at George Washington.

The Wolves can line up an imposing front wall that features Tennessee commit Riley Locklear (6-foot-6, 295 pounds) along with Doug Nester (6-6, 285), Kaleb Hardin (6-3, 235), Jacob Cumm (5-11, 235) and Skylar Larcart (6-2, 225).

"I don't know what I can do about that," Carpenter said. "I can't shrink them. That would be my only hope."

And if overnight rains from Thursday into Friday make a mess of Spring Valley's field, it could only serve to play into the hands of the Timberwolves. Three weeks ago, they hosted Hurricane on a sloppy field and ran for 406 yards in a 36-0 win.

"If it rains, that slows both teams down," Carpenter said. "Obviously, they don't run the Daytona 500 on dirt anymore - it's no fun to watch. But the fastest car still wins, whether you race on sand or an asphalt track. Obviously, we'd like dry weather, but if it rains, we still go play. We can't do anything about it."

Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess realizes that his team's big line probably carries its hopes as the Wolves run interference for quarterback Derek Johnson and running backs Mason Brubeck, Owen Porter and Jonah Wellman.

"You know, they're big, too," Dingess said of Capital's line, "and I think whoever wins up front, it's going to play a huge part in it. You can't put the ball in the air as much if it rains, and that's a type of game they're used to. Not to say it gives them an advantage, but they've got a big back who can do it, too [6-1, 250 Kalai Clark].

"We're probably going to grind and pound a little bit more than they do, and [mud] might slow them down, but it makes us slower than we already are. …

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