After a strong performance at a pre-season jamboree last Thursday against Jamestown, Northumberland and Charles City, the Mathews High School varsity football team is finally ready to play a game that counts, as the Devils travel to Amelia Friday to kick off the 2010 regular season.
"We’re really running the ball well," said MHS head coach Paul White, following last week’s home jamboree. The preseason contest was played under real game conditions, with each team getting one quarter of play against the other. Mathews ended up beating all three of the visiting squads.
With a dominant running attack, White said, Mathews can control the clock and wear down the opposing defense. "Part of that is it’s the second year we’ve run the offense," White said, explaining why the Blue Devil ground game has become more consistent. "The kids have adjusted," he said.
The ground game wasn’t the only offensive weapon for MHS, as the team also scored several touchdowns through the air last Thursday.
Defensively, "we got beat a couple times," White said, but Mathews also gave as good as it got, recording four takeaways on fumbles and interceptions. And White was especially happy that his players have made it through preseason play without any major injuries.
White’s coaching staff went to Richmond on Friday to scout Amelia, who finished last season with a 2-8 record. Last year, Mathews hosted Amelia, beating the Raiders, 17-13.
The jayvee team, meanwhile, opens its season at 6:30 tonight against the visiting Amelia Raiders.