Centreville looking to turn little things into big advantages

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

centreville — The little things will determine how the Centreville Academy football team fares this weekend in its season opener against Amite School Center, assistant coach Brian Stutzman said.

Little things kept Centreville’s offense scoreless in a tie with Parklane Academy in the Parklane Academy jamboree game Saturday, and Stutzman said the staff would focus on correcting those issues in practice this week.

“We blew a lot of blocking assignments on offense, and we are working on that this week,” Stutzman said. “We can block better. We need to work on defensive alignment, conditioning, and we got a lot of penalties that we have to cut, so we’re working on those.”

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The Tigers’ penalties were a result of fatigue, Stutzman said, and they will use conditioning this week to prevent mental lapses Friday.

But Stutzman said his biggest concern is not with the Tigers’ offense or their defense.

“Special teams will be the main factor,” he said. “It always is early in the season. It will be the first time we’ve done special teams, and it’s nerve wracking with a new snapper.”

Last season Michael Pate, who is now playing football for Louisiana College, snapped balls to Cliff Hurst, who is now punting for the University of Southern Mississippi. This year Daniel Hollingsworth will try to take Pate’s place, while Randy Bell will take over for Hurst.

Stutzman said Centreville does not have film on this year’s ASC squad, but he knows one key will be stopping the Rebels’ big-physical running back.

“They’ve got good skill returning with Bull Toler at tailback,” Stutzman said. “We know we will get a big dose of Bull Toler, and we will try to contain him. We just have to stress tackling, because he is a strong kid. We have to make sure we gang tackle and try to flow to the ball.”

The Tigers must also make sure they are lined up correctly and know their assignments defensively to stop Toler, Stutzman said.

Tigers’ head coach Bill Hurst is still recovering from heart surgery that he received on July 10. But Stutzman said the Centreville assistants would have the team ready to play Friday.

“We’ve been keeping in touch with him,” Stutzman said. “He’s just at home recovering, and we give him an update on what’s going on. He knows what’s going on, and if we need input he’ll tell us.”

Last season Centreville opened the season with a 45-12 victory at ASC, which jump-started a 10-win season for the Tigers. Stutzman said he hopes this year’s opener at home will be a starting point for another successful Centreville season.

“It’s always good to get off to a great start and go on and get a victory behind us,” he said. “We want to win every game, but this one is big for us. It’s a local rivalry, and it’s going to be a tough game for us. ASC is much improved.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Centreville Academy.