PYLESVILLE — For a second straight week the Rising Sun football team endured the challenge of preparing for a less-than-familiar opponent despite little meaningful game tape.
The second-ranked Tigers (1-0) will pay a visit to the Chesapeake Division’s North Harford (1-0) tonight, a team that has yet to compete in a regular-season game. The Hawks' Week 1 contest was not played due to a forfeit by its opponent, Bel Air.
Tonight's showdown takes place one weekend after Rising Sun faced off against non-conference foe Cambridge-SD with only scrimmage footage to train with.
“We have just scrimmages on them so who knows?” Tigers head coach Clem Vaughan said of facing the Hawks. “Friday night, Cambridge came out with totally different formations that we weren't ready for. We adjusted well and did what we needed to do, but there’s always that element of the unknown.
“You can never tell who has what number, who is who. You can say that running back’s good, but we don’t know who he is.”
Rising Sun won its first Week 1 game since 2010 after mounting a second-half comeback.
Trailing 20-19 in the third quarter, the Tigers outscored the Vikings 23-8 to win 42-28. They will carry momentum into tonight’s road game after the offense rushed for over 400 yards, including a program single-game record 320 rushing yards and four touchdowns from senior halfback Ben Ehrhart.
It came one year after the Cecil County program rushed for over 3,000 yards and won seven games. However, the Tigers went 1-2 against the upper division last autumn.
North Harford is looking to back on track after winning just three games a year ago. What scrimmage tape has revealed is an offense capable of producing the big play through the air.
“They throw the ball pretty well. They’ve got a quarterback that can launch it and they’ve got a pretty big receiver. They can run the ball, too,” Vaughan said. “Our mantra is trying to keep them off the field and have these long sustained drives.”
Rising Sun last faced North Harford in 2012 — a 49-7 home loss for the Cecil County squad.
While the Tigers won’t have recent footage to prepare with, the Hawks have possession of Rising Sun’s victory over Cambridge — and the ability to better prepare for Vaughan’s Wing T.
“With them seeing me on tape, it’s just going to open it up more for other guys,” said Ehrhart, who also caught a pair of passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. “We’ll have better runs inside instead of going outside. It could benefit us.”
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