Cumberland County coach Eric Belew could not have imagined a better way to start the 2019 season, as senior Ronald Martin returned the opening kickoff of the season 92 yards for a touchdown.
“It was the best way imaginable to start a game,” Belew said. “We started with an intensity that really set the tone, but obviously with the result of the game we didn’t maintain that intensity.”
Offensively, the Jets only managed one first down the entire game. Going forward, Belew said his staff will look to utilize their size better.
“We just didn’t match their intensity up front,” Belew said. “We have some big guys that can play. We didn’t do a good enough job demanding better pad level and better feet…If we want to move the ball, we have to have great feet and great pad level and we have to want it more than we wanted it Friday.”
Belew mentioned that the defense played better than the score indicated, especially with the amount of snaps they were forced to play.
“The defense was on the field for an extended period of time,” Belew said. “We did some good things on defense, but you could tell that they were getting gassed.”
Finding a way to move the ball against White County this Friday night presents its own challenges, according to Belew.
“I think the first thing I noticed with their guys upfront is they play hard,” Belew said. “The only way you can move the ball against them is to match their intensity and take it to another level…We are going to run the football. I’m not going to change what I do. We are going to get good at what we do.”
Friday night’s game marks the first home game for Belew. Playing and coaching in big games makes the home-opener just another game for Belew and company.
“Obviously the jitters are going to be there,” Belew said. “They always are, but I do feel prepared, and me and my staff are going to do whatever it takes to get them prepared to play well.”