Dixie delight? Cardinals look to end struggles against Hornets

Published 4:42 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

An uncharacteristic offensive drought has left Landrum head coach Russell Mahaffey looking for a cure to the doldrums that have plagued his offense in two straight losses.

Hes hoping Dixie will provide it when the 1-2 Hornets visit LHS Stadium at 7:30 tonight.

After the last two weeks with the offensive output weve had or the lack thereof weve worked very hard this week, Mahaffey said. Weve had two great days of practice. . . . If that translates to Friday night, we ought to be able to move the ball pretty well.

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The Cardinals (1-2) have been outscored 70-12 in losses at Chesnee (41-0) and at Polk County (29-12). Their second touchdown against Polk County was a defensive fumble return for a score.

While the Cardinals offensive production, particularly on the scoreboard, has been disappointing, Mahaffey has not hit the panic button.

The LHS spread offense will operate as it has this season behind triggerman Brandon Cannon at quarterback.

Its business as usual, Mahaffey said. You have to break the other team down and take advantage of what you can get.

Weve played a great football team in Chesnee and a great football team in Polk County, Mahaffey said. Theyre two impressive football teams. Part of our problems have been with us and what weve done, but part of it had to do with who we were playing.

Hopefully, now that were getting into (Class A) play, well be able to straighten some of those things out and get where we need to be.

Dixie has had similar problems, having been outscored 75-27 in its two losses. Palmetto rolled up 310 rushing yards against the Hornets in the first half of a 34-0 victory, a statistic that bodes well for LHS running back Cole McDowell, who has rushed for 271 yards on 43 carries for a 6.8-yard average this season.

But LHS must also stop Dixie running back Ty Hawthorne, who has amassed 410 rushing yards this season, including 200 yards in Dixies lone victory over Southside Christian.

Hes a good running back he ran the ball last week (in a loss to Crescent), said Mahaffey. But with what weve done defensively, Im pretty confident with us stopping the run.

But both Chesnee and Polk County burned the LHS secondary with deep scoring passes. Three of Polk Countys scores came on passes of 19, 31 and 54 yards.

Were having trouble stopping the deep ball, so were going to have to continue to work on that very hard, Mahaffey said.