Moore Haven plans to keep momentum against Lake Placid

Moore Haven Terriers Coach Max Manin doesn’t want the team to get complacent when they play the Lake Placid Dragons at 7 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 1, at Moore Haven High School. After winning the kick-off classic against Gateway 41-0, followed by winning the regular season opener against St Petersburg 35-0, Coach Manin still sees room for improvement.

“One of the things that happens with teams that get a few big wins is you start thinking you’re untouchable,” explained Manin, “so the biggest thing right now is just to keep the team grounded. Lake Placid is a good team. They do a lot of stuff offensively that is really tough; things like misdirection, counters and reverses. So we need to focus on seeing how they line up and try to understand their scheme.”

In the game against the St. Petersburg Barons last Friday, Aug. 25, Moore Haven senior John Cox had two touchdowns and ran for 116 yards. Terrier seniors Amery Bass, Eric Hunter and Dawnya Washington each had a touchdown of their own as well. But it wasn’t just the offense that dominated that game. The Terriers defense had 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. Ultimately the Barons struggled to find ways to contain the Terrier offense and had no answer for the Moore Haven defense.

“John Cox is a special kid,” said Manin. “Our offensive line helps him out a lot. But St. Petersburg brought a lot of different pressures, and there were times when he would have three defenders in his face and he’d still make them miss. When you got a guy like him – it’s easy.”

Expectations were high for Moore Haven coming into the season. With 32 players returning from last year’s team, experience is definitely a strength for the Terriers. But Moore Haven’s depth will also be the key this season. The ability to have five offensive linemen, none of whom will have to play defensive line, will be an advantage over Terriers opponents this season. And coach Manin wants every advantage he can get when the Terriers play Lake Placid this week.

“Lake Placid’s running back Katwan Ward is really quick,” Manin said with a chuckle. “I mean, really, really quick. So we need to be sure we see him and see where he lines up.”

This Friday will be Moore Haven’s first official home game of the regular season and coach Manin is looking forward to enjoying home field advantage.

“It’s big. We’re a small town, so it’s one of those things that the town shuts down on Friday and everyone comes out,” Manin explained, “It’s definitely important for the players to feel that support. It’s also nice not having to travel. That’s the big thing I took away from last week as a first-year head coach. Home field advantage is a big deal because of your fans, no doubt, but it’s also great for us not to have to be on the road.”

Moore Haven is looking to get its second win of the regular season this Friday against Lake Placid, which is coming off a tough 25-8 loss to Port St. Lucie the previous week. And coach Manin is confident that if the Terriers can stay grounded after their big win, their momentum can keep on rolling.

The Glades County Democrat is published every Thursday.

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