In its game against Russell County last week, Central won on the scoreboard and in the stat book.
One area coach Woodrow Lowe thought his team got lapped in, however, was attitude, and that was a key component to the team’s preparation for region foe Carver-Montgomery this week.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Lowe said. “We did some things we don’t normally do and don’t want to do. We made them aware of what happened, and I think we got some of that corrected. A lot of it comes down to attitude. Attitude is where it starts. We’ve got to get that competitive attitude this week.”
That will be even more important in the Red Devils’ first region game of the year against Carver-Montgomery, a team that advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals last year. Central beat the Wolverines 27-14 on its home field last year, but Lowe knows how talented a program his team is up against.
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“They’ve got a great, great program with great personnel,” he said. “My hat goes off to them. They’ve done a good job of keeping their program intact, coming back year after year with guys who can step in.”
Known for its offense last year, which was led by quarterback Jeremy Johnson, no with Auburn, Carver-Montgomery showed its ability on defense in a season-opening 20-7 win over Prattville last week.
The Wolverines forced four turnovers, turning two into touchdowns, including one that was set up when Alabama commit Shaun Dion Hamilton forced a fumble.
“I really find it offensive when people say Carver is an offensive school or Jeremy made us,” Hamilton, a four-star recruit on Rivals.com, told Al.com after the game last week. “That’s like a slap in our face. I take a lot of pride in our defense. We were underrated last year. This year when people talk about Carver, I want people to know the defense.”
That defense also features three-stars Draequon Murphy and Jon Michael Edwards, a defensive back and defensive end, respectively.
Figuring out that defense may be step one in the Red Devils path to winning this game. Central certainly has the talent on offense, especially in the running game, to have some success.
Three different backs have shouldered the load at different times for the Red Devils in their two games, counting the scrimmage against Carver-Columbus. Ryan Humphrey and Traveon Samuel starred in the scrimmage, while Kenneth Thomas broke out in the season-opener with well over 100 yards and four touchdowns.
Lowe isn’t taking anything for granted there, though, because he knows how things change week to week.
“It’s all about development,” he said. “You’ve got to develop guys and keep them going in the right direction. You don’t get that every week.”
The coach wouldn’t say that this region game was more important than any other, even though the opponent is so tough and it is the first of the season. His reasoning was simple: In a region has tough as Region 3, every division game is vital.
“We’re in the toughest region in the state of Alabama,” he said. “People may get tired of me saying that, but I believe it. We’re going to face tough competition every week. The players know it’s a region game and that it’s important. It doesn’t matter which region game it is. We’re in such a tough region, you have to be up for every game.”
Which all goes back to attitude.
Considering how last week went and how tough this week’s opponent is, Lowe doesn’t expect that to be a problem again.
Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ledgerenquirersports.