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August 30, 2013

TEXAS-KANSAS JUCO FOOTBALL CHALLENGE: Ready to fight

TVCC looks for first win of the season against No. 12 Coffeyville

Athens — Last season, the No. 12-ranked Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College Red Ravens came into the Texas-Kansas Junior College Football Challenge getting blasted by an in-state rival.

This season, the same scenario happened following a 44-14 loss to No. 6-ranked Hutchinson Community College in the season opener.

Saturday will mark only the third meeting ever between the two teams. Coffeyville holds a victory in the 1984 Jayhawk Bowl.

Last year, the Cardinals  traveled to Coffeyville and won 35-7 for it’s second win of the season.

Trinity Valley Community College head coach Brad Smiley is hoping to see the same physicality he saw from his team last week.

The Cardinals lost their opener to No. 4-ranked Iowa Western 24-17 in the Battle In the Valley.

“I was extremely proud with how hard they played,” Smiley said. “They were very physical and our No. 1 thing going into every game is that we want to outhit our opponents. I thought we did that last week.”

The Cardinals look to disrupt an offensive unit which only accounted for 163 total yards last week.

Coffeyville sophomore quarterback Dakota Collins had a rough night throwing the football against Hutchinson as he went 7-of-28 for 117 yards and three interceptions.

Collins favorite targets in that game were Dijuan Ussery and Akia Booker.

Both receivers caught two balls each for the Red Ravens.

“If the stat line happens like that for the quarterback, it means they were unable to run the football,” Smiley said. “Hutch’s front seven dictated the running game and forced them to throw the football.”

Coffeyville was held to only 46 yards rushing as Richie Dyer and Andre Allen led the team with 38 and 31 yards respectively.

Smiley said with a strong performance last week offensively in which sophomore quarterbacks Ryan Polite and Hunter McCoy combined for 301 yards passing on 31-of-51 attempts, he hopes they can find weaknesses in the Red Ravens defense.

“They (Coffeyville) want to take away the run game and they want to force you to throw the ball,” Smiley said. “We will take what they give us and the way they are loading the box it is almost like you got to prove you can throw and catch.”

Smiley said this week in practice, TVCC has worked on offensive execution after committing five fumbles — three of them lost — against Iowa Western.

“We have worked on ball security and emphasizing it on tape,” Smiley said. “We go over it daily and we are working on cleaning up the mistakes.”

With this being their final non-conference game before the season finale against Southeast Prep, Smiley wants to give the freshman experience before the conference opener.

“We want to get some guys some valuable experience and have teaching moments this week,” Smiley said. “I want us to feel good about where we are at after Saturday night. We started out last week with a giant step for this football team.”

The Cardinals (0-1) will have their open week next week.

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