Clewiston Coach Brad Garret is looking to raise the intensity level in practice this week as the Tigers prepare to face the Monsignor Pace Spartans at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, at Clewiston High School.
“I think we lack intensity; we need to come out this week more focused,” Garret said, “No one is going to give us anything. Fort Myers, they got after us. We have got to learn how to take a punch, and then punch back.”
Fort Myers Green Wave beat Clewiston last Friday, Aug. 25, 33-7 in a game dominated by Fort Myers’ defense and speedy receivers. The Green Wave forced a safety and two fumbles in the first quarter alone. Clewiston never found the ‘counter punch’ needed to get them back into the game. Fort Myers’ first four drives started inside Clewiston’s 20-yard line, yet the Tigers defense was still able to hold the Green Wave to only 5 points. But eventually Fort Myers quarterback Sean Shore was able to stretch the field with a 48-yard pass to Yasias Young and a 47-yard touchdown pass to Milan Tucker, with the majority of those yards being gained after the catch.
“Fort Myers’ defense is tough,” Garret explained, “We knew that going into the game. Their linebacker, Jordan Weathebee, is just a great football player. That being said we also made some mental mistakes; our guys need to protect the ball. Those fumbles early on really hurt us and we couldn’t just get anything going.”
In order to top the Monsignor Pace Spartans this Friday, the Tigers will have to limit those mental mistakes in order to keep drives sustained and keep momentum on their side. It’ll be crucial to not allow the Spartans big defensive linemen to take control of the game, which will be the Tigers first home game of the season.
“Our guys really feed off of the fans and the home crowd,” said Garret, “Clewiston is a great place to play football because the community cares about the team. When they come out and support us, and our guys see that, it just gives them another boost of energy. We love playing in front of everyone who can come out and support us, we need all the support we can get.”
Clewiston is looking to notch its first win of the season against the Spartans, who are coming off a 15-0 win against the Boyd Anderson Cobras.
The Spartans defense played a big role in winning that game, and coach Garret and the Tigers are hoping that working on their intensity level in practice will prepare them for Monsignor Pace, especially their big defensive line.
“I think we need to come out more focused,” Garret said, “We have to realize that nobody is going to give us anything. If we’re going to win, we’re going to have to go out there and take it. We have to fight back.”