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Football

Cougars looking to  rebound at Kingswood

ConVal seeking first win of the year on Friday

The ConVal football team has already put last week’s season-opening loss to Lebanon behind them and turned the focus to Kingswood this Friday night.

The Cougars were shut out on their home field by the Raiders, 34-0, last Friday night and will be looking for their first win of the season when they play the Knights under the lights on the road at 7 p.m.

“I feel good about our chances,” said McCartney. “We think we can go out and execute the game plan and have some success.”

Kingswood is also coming off a 21-point loss to Plymouth last week, which means the Knights will be equally as desperate to break into the win column.

Despite the loss, ConVal is still tied with three of the four other West Conference teams, as Monadnock was the only team to win last week. Kingswood and Portsmouth were the only teams to lose from the East Conference.

Entering last week’s game, ConVal only had six players who had suited up for a varsity game and that could have been a big reason why they committed three turnovers, botched a punt snap, turned the ball over on downs deep in Lebanon territory and fumbled two other times in which they recovered.

“We can’t give the ball away five times,” said McCartney. “We want to be a little bit smarter on the field.”

McCartney believes his team is more than capable of playing in the realigned Division II and anticipates a bounce-back week.

After watching the Knights play Plymouth on Saturday, McCartney fully expects the ConVal running attack of juniors Dakota Nute and Isaiah Taylor and senior Riordan McCole to have a big night, which will in turn help junior quarterback John Crowley in the passing game.

“The way they line up defensively gives us a chance to do what we want,” said McCartney.

Crowley only completed three of nine pass attempts last week, but McCartney wants not only the completions to go up but the number of throws as well.

“I’d like to throw it a little bit more,” said McCartney.

For McCartney, the key is ball possession and defensive stops. The Cougars made too many mistakes in crucial situations on offense last week and at the same time allowed Lebanon to convert on too many third downs.

“Offensively we have to hold onto the ball and finish,” said McCartney. “Defensively we have to get off the field on third down.”

As long as ConVal is able to stick to what they have practiced all week, McCartney is confident they will break into the win column Friday night in the first road test of 2013.

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