Friday Preview: Ledford prepares to beat Cougars without Melvin
A week after losing their homecoming matchup with Asheboro, the Ledford Panthers will hit the road this week and travel to Southwestern Randolph. Panthers' coach Chris Adams has spent the last three days reminding his team of a single key to defeating the 2-5 Cougars. Do not overlook them.
"We can't look at anybody's record or think that any game is going to be a gimme," he said. "They play us tough and always have. You don't have to look any farther than last year's game when we had to kick an extra point in overtime to win."
That 53-52 overtime thriller should not be a foreshadowing of Friday night's showdown. This is a different Ledford squad that makes the trip to Farmer and the teams have headed in opposite directions since the end of the 2012 season. Adams' veteran group is 4-3 after dropping two straight to Central Davidson and the Blue Comets, but has had the opportunity to win each game thus far with the exception of its loss to North Davidson.
The primary concern for the Panthers will be the absence of fullback George Melvin, who injured his knee in the loss Asheboro and will not play this week. Conversely, the Cougars are coming off a bye, so they have had an extra week to recuperate and prepare. Ledford's coach makes no secret of what he expects to come from this game.
"Five close ball games have come down to the final possession. The ones we've came out of with a win, we made the big play at the right time," Adams said. "We don't expect any different this week, and expect another dogfight. We really need a win to get back even in the conference and stay in the thick of things. I still think it's wide open."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.