Game: Campbell (0-1) at East Paulding (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: First meeting
All-time series: First meeting
Prediction: Campbell 21, East Paulding 20
Campbell looks to bounce back from its season opening setback when it visits East Paulding for a non-region matchup Friday.
The Spartans are coming off a 34-9 loss at Lambert last week that has the team still seeking its first victory since the 2018 season opener.
Coach Howie DeCristofaro has reason for optimism entering Friday’s contest against the Raiders. The Spartans, who have eight first-time starters on offense and seven first-time starters on defense, led at halftime in last week’s matchup against the Longhorns before second half mistakes, including two fumbles and an interception, dampened hopes of pulling out the victory. The Spartans also have the right mindset and the correct personnel to post a win if they can just eliminate the costly miscues.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be successful,” DeCristofaro said. “We have all the tools we need and our teammates care about each other. We were winning 9-7 at halftime, but a fumble in the second half gave the ball right back to (Lambert) and it took the wind out of our sails.
“We have to be able to pick each other and have amnesia after a bad play happens because another play is coming. If you’re not up and focused on that next play, then you end up creating more bad plays that will hurt you. We moved the ball well and controlled most of the game, but we gave up some big plays and that was it. I think the final score wasn’t indicative of the game. I’m more pleased with the effort, but the attitude has to get better.”
East Paulding had a solid start to its season with a 28-21 overtime win over Kennesaw Mountain. DeCristofaro and his staff have been hard at work evaluating the Raiders so as to put Campbell in the best possible position to succeed tonight.
“We got the game film on East Paulding from Kennesaw Mountain, so we’re doing what we can to have our boys ready,” DeCristofaro said. “East Paulding’s a big, strong and athletic team. They’re going to be a tough opponent to get ready for. They’re a running team. That’s their strength. So, if we can slow them down then we have a chance.”