Tigers satisfied? Not yet
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on November 18, 2004 1:56 PM
WARSAW -- 10-2.
A stout record like that would usually lead to a feeling of satisfaction in most high school football programs -- especially under a second-year coach, and certainly after losing only once in a tough, Class 1-A Super Six Conference.
But that's not the impression one gets from James Kenan head coach Kevin Motsinger.
"If we don't go very far, I'll be dissapointed," he said. "As a family, we have worked extremely well. If we went 0-11 and then won the state championship, I would be happy. It's about state championships and playoff wins.
"With the talent we do have, it would be a shame for us to not get another shot at Wallace-Rose Hill."
A rematch with the Bulldogs is still a couple of games away and both will have to beat good teams along the way to get there. Up next for the Tigers is a second-round N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-AA (large school) home playoff clash with Pamlico.
Last week saw Kenan bounce back off of a 63-0 loss at Wallace-Rose Hill to defeat Williamston 28-7 in the first round.
"We were down when we came in, but we played well, and I don't think it was as close as the score indicated," Motsinger said. "I felt like we had control from the first play. We were banged up from the Union and Wallace games. We saved some guys and advanced."
The Hurricanes enter the game with a 9-3 mark after smashing Jordan-Matthews 42-21 in Bayboro. Much like Kenan, Pamlico's only losses this season came against solid programs that advanced in the first round.
"The top couple of teams in their conference are better than everybody else," Motsinger sadi. "I don't know if that hurts them or not.This is the week that teams quit if they get a little bit behind.
"People get down this time of the year, and they see the writing on the wall."
Motsinger believes the big key against the Hurricanes is how well his defense handles the visitor's offensive line, then tackles a handful of capable Pamlico backs.
Last week, Hurricane backs Deondre Green and Jermaine Sawyer both rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns each.
"They've got the backs. They've got four that are 220 or better, and they've got two that are 150 that can fly," he said. "We've got to tackle well. That's something we haven't done the last several weeks."
Still, the Tigers held Williamston to 15 yards on 23 carries in a 28-7 first-round win. Kenan's defense has an area-high, three shutouts. Seven of its 12 opponents have been held to seven points or less as the Tigers are yielding just 13.2 points per game.
Meanwhile, Brandon Satchell paced the Tigers' balanced rushing attack last week with a season-best 132 yards on 27 carries with a touchdwon.
The Tigers missed leading rusher Ronnie Williams last week due to an ankle injury. Motsinger hopes he will be back in action against the Hurricanes.
Williams leads Kenan with 635 yards on 85 carries with six touchdowns on the season.
Tiger quarterback Kelvin Miller is currently second in the area in yards-per-game (101.8) and has tossed seven touchdown passes. In 201 pass attempts, Miller has just four interceptions.
Kenan is one of five Super Six teams to advance to the second round. Lakewood, the only team to fall in the first round, was the only Super Six team that didn't have a winning, regular-season campaign.
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