By Bryan Davis
It’s a new week for the Oak Hill Academy Raiders, who are coming off a week one 28-14 loss to the Heritage Academy Patriots.
Friday night’s game came down to which team could get the big plays, and it was Heritage that took advantage of a couple of defensive miscues by the Raiders for a pair of touchdowns.
The Raider offense could not get free as many big runs as the Patriots did, and they were left two touchdowns in the hole when the buzzer ended the game.
Since then, the Raiders have gone back to work on the practice field, trying to patch up those holes on defense and figure out how to open a few on offense.
“We’re working on taking better angles on defense,” Oak Hill head coach Leroy Gregg said. “We missed making plays on two of their (Heritage) long runs because of some poor angles.”
The final score was indeed no reflection of how well the Raider defense matched up against Heritage. Oak Hill arguably dominated the Patriots offense throughout the night.
As far as the offense is concerned for the Raiders, they are going to need to score touchdowns this Friday night against Pillow.
Gregg attributes a lot of the offensive mistakes to the players’ lack of concentration during the game on Friday.
“We’re trying to work on our concentration a little bit more,” said Gregg. “I felt like our lack of concentration sometimes hurt us during the ball game on Friday, offensively. We didn’t have that trouble on defense.”
Gregg recognizes that the first time starters might have had some first game jitters to work out, but he also noted that many of his older guys seemed nervous as well.
“A lot of our veterans did not play as well as we had expected them to play,” Gregg said.
Gregg says that he and his coaches are trying to get the offense more concentrated this week.
“We’re doing long snap counts, and we’re holding them accountable for what’s going on all the time,” Gregg said.
Heritage jumped out to an early lead, in the game on Friday, by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Gregg admires the way the Raiders responded to that.
“That was real easy to shake it off, because we did,” Gregg said. “That play did not affect us in any way, other than it put points on the scoreboard for them. It didn’t affect how our kids played a bit.”
Gregg said the Raiders are working a lot on special teams this week, including kicking, punting and coverage.
“Other than that, it’s the same old same old,” Gregg said. “We’re game planning for Pillow, and we’re trying to improve in the areas we really need to improve in.”
Pillow is coming off of a 37-10 win over Kirk Academy.
“They are historically one of the better 3A teams in the private school association,” Gregg said. “They are well coached.”
That game will be at Oak Hill at 7 p.m. on Friday night.