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Lack of depth at defensive line cost Tigers late in game

Published 4:03pm Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chilton County’s defense contained Homewood’s spread offense all night during last week’s game.

But the visiting Tigers couldn’t come up with a stop when it mattered most.

Homewood had used a CCHS turnover and a kickoff returned for a touchdown to take a 17-7 lead, but Chilton marched 71 yards late in the game to draw within a field goal of the lead and claim the momentum with about 4:30 remaining in the game.

Figuring his defense would keep up its steady play, CCHS coach Donnie Hand kicked the ball deep. Then, Homewood took advantage of a tired unit—and a costly defensive penalty—to record most of its seven first downs on the night.

“We just couldn’t ever stop them,” Hand said of the fateful drive that allowed Homewood to run out the clock and even Chilton’s record at 1-1 on the young season.

“Right now, all the linebackers are the same ones that came back from last year,” Hand said. “The defensive backs are doing a good job.

“The defensive line is the key. We lost a couple that were seniors (last season). They’re playing good, but sometimes we don’t have a lot of depth there.”

The depth is such that two senior offensive linemen, left guard Anthony Neece and center Spencer Watley, are part of the rotation at defensive tackle.

“If we have to send in our offensive linemen to play defensive line, then our offensive linemen are sucking wind because they’re having to play both ways.”

And while the defensive line may be the key to CCHS preventing points, the offensive line may be the key to the team picking up wins.

“We have got to establish the run and then do placation off of it,” Hand said. “We realized at halftime that we could run the ball against [Homewood]. It took us a little while to get confidence.”

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