Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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October 4, 2013

JUNIOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Back on the road again

Cardinals look to spoil former OC Poteete’s homecoming this weekend

Athens — This week’s match up between the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals and the Northeastern Oklahoma A & M Golden Norseman has two interesting storylines.

The first will be the reunion of former offensive coordinator Sherard Poteete with the Cardinals — after spending three years at Trinity Valley.

The second storyline will be the return of new offensive coordinator Clay Patterson — who is the son of NEO athletic director Dale Patterson.

“Clay will know a bunch of people up there this week and it will be tough to see who his family roots for,” TVCC head coach Brad Smiley. “They are all NEO people and his dad is the athletic director. We will find out who the Patterson’s love more in Dale Patterson, the athletic director and head coach — or Clay Patterson, the former player and now OC at Trinity Valley.”

Kickoff for the homecoming contest in Miami, Ok. is scheduled for 2 p.m.

“Playing on the road is always a difficult task since you have to face someone else’s crowd,” Smiley said. “You will not have your band or dance line here. This year, they have torn down the visitior stands so we are going to be on that side by ourselves.”

Smiley said the team’s confidence has been high during practices after wins against Cisco Junior College and then No. 1-ranked Navarro the past two weeks.

NEO is once again scoring points with the best of them as they are averaging 36 points per game through the first five games.

They currently have the No. 1-ranked offense in the conference and the No. 3-ranked defense.

Smiley said with a defense that allows 344.4 yards per game, they have athletes in safety Devron Moore, linebackers Smash Cross, Zachary Maynard and lineman Dalshawn McFayden.

“We really like their safety in Moore — a really good football player who makes a lot of plays for them,” Smiley said. “On defense they are really fast and they are trying to rip the ball out on every play.”

On offense, freshman signal caller Tony Keifer will be a player to watch. Keifer has thrown for 709 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions through the first five games.

“He (Keifer) is throwing ball well and running it well too this year,” Smiley said. “Keifer is also the punter so handling special teams will be key since he is a guy that can make a play at any time.”

The NEO defense will have to find a way to stop quarterback Ryan Polite — who comes into the contest as the conference’s leading passer with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also thrown for 1,488 yards in the first five games of the season.

Smiley said the familiarity between Poteete and Cardinals defensive coordinator Will Reed could play a factor Saturday afternoon.

“The thing is we are a different team with a different personnel from last year,” Smiley said. “I think the big thing with him being the offensive coordinator is his familiarity with Will Reed. They faced each other during practices two-to-three times a week and this will be a big key in the ball game.”

NOTES: TVCC defensive end Jhaustin Thomas was named the Defensive Player of the Week last week after recording nine tackles, one tackle for loss, three sacks for minus-24 yards and three quarterback hurries. ... Following Saturday afternoon’s game, the Cardinals will wrap up a three-game road trip in Blinn next Saturday. They will then host Tyler Junior College to wrap up conference play on Oct. 19.

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