Birds’ Battle: LHS off to Chesnee

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, September 2, 2010

Landrum has already notched one win against an opponent from a larger classification. Tonight, the Cardinals (1-0) will try to make it two in a row against Class 2A Chesnee when they travel down Highway 11 to face the Eagles at 7:30 p.m.

LHS head coach Russell Mahaffey, whose team is coming off a convincing 36-9 home victory over Class 3A Travelers Rest, said the Cardinals must improve to be successful against a tough Chesnee team.

One of our goals is to cut out their big plays, said Mahaffey, recalling last years 27-10 loss in which the Cardinals were downed by a couple of long touchdowns.

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But the Eagles (1-0) have shown a penchant for the big play again this season. In last weeks 19-13 win at Chase (N.C.), Chesnee quarterback Kyle Miller threw touchdown passes for 44, 64 and 24 yards. Receiver DaJohn Rowland was on the scoring end of two of them (64, 24).

Theyve got weapons, said Mahaffey. Theyve got a big-play receiver (Rowland) who we have to be aware of all the time.

But LHS is not without weapons and big-play capabilities of its own. Three of the Cardinals touchdowns this past week were from 20 yards or more.

LHS also rediscovered a running game in the form of Cole McDowell, who was a big part of the teams 475 yards of total offense, including 306 on the ground.

McDowell, making his first start at halfback, rushed for a game-high 146 yards and had three catches for 75 yards.

We were very pleased with that and pleased to see his 146 yards on the ground, said Mahaffey. We started blocking up front and were able to do some things.

Quarterback Brandon Cannon also had 132 yards rushing with two touchdowns and 169 passing with two touchdowns.

The LHS defensive unit also shut out Travelers Rest in the second half.

But the Cardinals 13 penalties for 110 yards was something Mahaffey said he would rather not see repeated against a tough Chesnee team.

Weve worked all week on cutting out the mistakes, especially the penalties, he said. We cant have that and win.