Frederica Academy hosts its final regular-season game of the year against Trinity Christian as its senior night for the Knights.
It was all about focus this week for the Knights after upsetting Pinewood last week, 20-8. Coach Brandon Derrick said the biggest thing this week was getting them focused on Trinity Christian.
“I think that was one of those things that you have to come in and get everybody back, refocused,” Derrick said. “I thought they focused really well on Wednesday, and I thought practice on Wednesday was probably one of our best practices we’ve had in a while — it was it was pretty sharp.”
Trinity Christian is 0-8 on the season, but that doesn’t mean Frederica should look past them, which is why getting the team focused was crucial.
The Crusaders run a traditional Wing-T offense. However, Derrick said they’ll do other things as well against his defense.
“They’re gonna run some conventional Wing-T stuff, some buck sweep and down — all that stuff,” Derrick said. “Then they’re going to run some dive option, and they throw the ball quite a bit, too. We just have to be ready to handle all of it, and I think our guys have done a good job of understanding their responsibilities on defense.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Trinity Christian likely line up in a 5-2 and play man defense in the secondary.
“We’ve got to get spacing off of them, we got to get some separation in the back end, and we got to attack them down the field,” Derrick said. “We got to get some time up front to get the ball off — they bring a lot of pressure with their five defensive linemen. We just got to open up some running lanes and be physical. That’s what we’ve been able to do all year. So it’s nothing that we haven’t been prepared for.”
Frederica will look towards Jordan Triplett to tote the rock like he has been but will also need starting quarterback Thomas Veal to spread out the defense with some good passes.
However, the biggest thing for Derrick is not turning over the ball.
“It’s like a broken record — we just need to be effective and efficient,” Derrick said. “What we’ve been able to do is get those first downs on third down and short, don’t put ourselves behind the chains with penalties, and do those things that we’ve been really good at this year.”
The Knights haven’t given up many turnovers since the first couple of games this season, and Derrick wants to continue that. Another thing he’d like to see out of his offense is continuing to sustain drives. Frederica did a great job with putting together long time-consuming drives against both Bulloch Academy and Pinewood, so Derrick said he wants them to continue that against Trinity.
“We’ve been able to sustain drives. It’s really hard to do in high school is sustained a 70-80 yard drive — our kids do it. We do it all the time,” Derrick said. “ I feel like we’ve done a really good job of that if we don’t get penalties, and we don’t turn the ball over or have any bad snaps. We’ve been very efficient, we’ve been effective.
“I know it’s not flashy numbers, but when your defense is only giving up 11 points, and your offense is scoring almost 25 — it’s still a two-touchdown game in most of them. Our guys are doing a good job, and we just got to come out and continue to do what we’ve been doing — don’t overlook anybody and be prepared.”
It’s also senior night for Frederica Academy, and coach Derrick said this group is special, and he’s going to miss them.
This group of seniors took it personally this offseason after last year’s performance, and since then, they’ve been on a mission.
“This bunch here, they’ve given me a lot of gray hair, so I’m going to miss them. As crazy as they are and as goofy as they are, and cut up and carry on, they’ve been a really good group of guys to coach,” Derrick said. “I think they took it personal in the offseason — people didn’t think that we could compete at the level that we’ve been able to compete at with the number of kids that we’ve had.
“We could very well be going in 8-1 and trying to be 9-1. This group has really worked hard. They’ve worked to be really good — they’re not overly athletic, but they play extremely hard and do exactly as we coach them. That is a huge asset to us as coaches, but that speaks volumes about them of how hard they work and how much they’re going to prepare every night to get ready.”
Kickoff for the Knights and Crusaders is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Frederica Academy. The Knights are looking to at least secure second place in the region and possibly a No. 2 seed in the state playoffs.