CHARLESTON — It will be a whole new experience for the Charleston High School football team when the Trojans travel to Quincy Notre Dame on Friday. The two teams won't know much about each other since they haven't faced each other any time recently.
Even though Charleston hasn't faced the Raiders recently, coach Tyler Hanner has done his research on QND, which is 4-3 this season. Charleston is 0-7 on the season.
"They are a power-running type of team from what we've seen on film. A lot of power, they have a couple of good-sized running backs, good linemen and a couple of nice receivers," Hanner said. "I know their numbers are thin. I think they have 30-some on their entire roster, but what they've got is pretty solid."
Charleston is no stranger to the power running attack since the Trojans just saw that a week ago against Effingham with running back Terrence Hill.
"I am kind of approaching in the same way. Effingham didn't want to just beat you up on the scoreboard, they wanted to beat you up physically," Hanner said. "I am approaching it the same way. (Quincy Notre Dame) is looking to beat you up and run it right down your throats. They run about six different run plays and two or three different pass plays, but they run them over and over and over and lull you asleep, so we have to be good with our keys and everything else."
Going into last week's game, Hanner was counting on his defense to tackle and to play the run better. While Hill did have about 180 yards rushing, he is one of the best running backs in the state and the Flaming Hearts' career rushing leader. Hanner was happy with how the Trojans played the run against Effingham last Friday and hope it carries over this week.
"You consider that we gave up 42 on his touchdown run and another run for about 20. Besides that, to hold one of the state's leading rushers to about 180 yards, that's an accomplishment to our defense," Hanner said. "They showed up to play — and now we just have to get the offense rolling, put up some points and we will have a shot at it this week."
The Trojans' offense has stalled over the past few weeks, and Charleston has only scored 91 points this season. The Trojans were shut out last week and have only scored 22 points over the past three weeks.
Hanner said he feels the team needs to do a better job passing the ball.
"We've got to be able to complete passes and spread them out a little bit in order to run," he said. "With what we do, if they are going to sit with seven or eight in the box, we have to be able to throw. They like to run a lot of man defense, so we've been working on our routes that work well against man (coverage). We just have to learn to play pitch-and-catch and block-and-tackle, and if you can do that, you've got a good football team."