Mount Paran Christian set for test from Our Lady of Mercy
by Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer
August 30, 2012 10:21 PM | 1240 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mount Paran Christian will travel to Bobcat Stadium for the first time to meet Our Lady of Mercy tonight in the season opener for both teams.

“You never know what is going to happen in the season opener,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “But I feel real good about our first few weeks of preparation.”

However, Jordan, who is entering his fifth year as the Eagles’ head coach, hopes the gap of time between the team’s scrimmage and this game doesn’t have a negative impact.

“We scrimmaged early this year,” Jordan said. “I wish we could’ve scrimmaged a little bit later but our opponent needed to go early so we haven’t played at any sort of game speed for a while.

“That is always difficult to replicate in practice but we’ve had a good week so far. I think our kids are tired of competing against each other and they’re ready to go up against somebody else.”

The Eagles (7-4 in 2011) will be facing a Bobcats’ squad which averaged 47 points in their six victories last season led by their speedy playmaker, running back and cornerback Rashard Fant.

“It’s always difficult to replicate an opponent’s offense, especially somebody with that type of speed,” Jordan said. “We just give our scout team guys a few yards’ headstart and just try to get our players acclimated and used to that kind of speed.”

According to Rivals.com, Fant is a four-star athlete and has received scholarship offers from Florida State, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Ohio State.

“He’s a great player, but they have several weapons on offense and they are solid on defense,” Jordan said. “We’re just going to have to play solid football and try not to give up any big plays and make them work down the field.”

Leading the charge for this continuous assignment will be lineman Dane Stevens, Jake Jeans and Matt McKenzie, who led the team with five sacks last season.

Even though there isn’t any history between these two teams, Jordan is very familiar with all that Our Lady coach Mike Earwood has accomplished.

“I competed against him when I was a player and he was the coach at Cartersville,” Jordan said. “He’s been doing it for a long time. He’s a very good football coach. We knew it was going to be a tough opponent right out of the gate.”

Entering his 26th year of coaching, Earwood is also five wins from 200.

“Thank goodness he’s not going for 200,” Jordan said. “They don’t need extra motivation. I don’t think our players know that but I think it’s a motivator for his team.”
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