Alexander coach Matt Combs isn’t putting much stock into New Manchester’s winless record.
He expects New Manchester to be pumped because this is a game between two county schools.
“You know, the old cliche comes into play when you have two county teams playing,” Combs said. “We are not even going to talk about their record because we know they will come ready to play. The way things are now with social media and these kids knowing each other, we expect to get their best.”
Alexander was idle last week while New Manchester suffered its second straight shutout loss. The Jaguars lost 51-0 to Mays, which comes a week after sustaining a 35-0 loss at Creekside.
It is the first time in New Manchester history that the team has ever been shutout.
But Alexander players say that will not matter when the Jaguars visit this evening.
“To be honest, we can’t come out flat against them,” Alexander senior wide receiver Justin Hall said. “We are not going to take them lightly because we know they can play. We know they are going to play this game like it is their Super Bowl. We just have to play strong and fast.”
To add to the plot in the game, Alexander starting wide receiver Steven Winston played at New Manchester last season.
He would have been the Jaguars leading returning receiver if he didn’t transfer in the spring.
Winston has six receptions for 101 yards for the Cougars. As a team, Alexander is averaging 180 yards passing per game and 212 rushing yards.
The Cougars ground attach is led by senior Daetrich Harrington, who has 473 yards rushing with five touchdowns.
Combs said that the bye week allowed his team to heal some injuries. He said the team has averaged about 11 players not dressing per game, but are only down to two for this week’s game.
“It is great to get some of those guys back,” Combs said. “We were just so banged up after several weeks of playing. This bye week allowed us to fix some things and just worry about our ourselves. It also gave us some time to heal. We fine tuned some things and added some new wrinkles that we wanted to install.”
“It was a big week for us as we had some injuries,” said Hall, who has 14 receptions for 214 yards and four touchdowns. “
Although he appreciated the bye week, Hall said he is ready to get back to work.
“It was good to rest, but it was boring,” he said. “I’m ready to start back playing. It gave us a chance to get some things right and watch some film. I think it was positive.”