While they certainly didn't help themselves in slowing down Rose Hill last week, the Orioles played a bit closer than the score might indicate, despite Rose Hill scoring two touchdowns on punt returns and controlling much of the first half.
“I told them, it comes down to effort. If you're putting effort out there and not dwelling on mistakes, we had guys who'd make a mistake and get mad at themselves while the play is still going,” coach Roger Robben said last week. “We have got to keep going. We cannot allow that to happen. We've got to play hard the entire play.”
What shouldn't go unnoticed is the improvement the Orioles made in the second half, particularly defensively, where the front seven clamped down a little more than they had before.
“We made a few adjustments at halftime, which I think helped. And our guys are learning to make in-game adjustments, but we usually do better when we have a little bit of time to communicate with them. You have guys playing on both sides, you don't get a lot of time to communicate with them. It's pretty much on the go,” Robben said.
The Orioles will need to put together a strong effort for four quarters as they will face another challenge in Trinity Academy at home this week on senior night. The Knights have a couple of big-time playmakers who can make a lot of defenses look bad.
With one loss in Districts already, Augusta pretty much will have to win if it wants any shot of making the playoffs. There is still a road game with Collegiate looming in the regular-season finale.
Trinity Academy (3-4, 0-1)
Tyler Burns is as fast a running back as Augusta has seen this season. Burns also hits hard from the safety position on defense. Trinity quarterback Matt Jones is big and tough to bring down. Jones and Burns have been a deadly combination all season, especially running behind a huge offensive line with several seniors.
The Knights have struggled to keep teams from racking up points. Trinity has given up an average of nearly 31 points per game.
Augusta (1-6, 0-1)
The Orioles no doubt will have to tackle better than they did last week against Rose Hill. In the second half, the defense made some adjustments, particularly with its front seven, which did slow down Rose Hill, at least compared to the first half. Trinity's playmakers can pose problems if the Orioles don't stay sound in their defensive techniques and schemes.
ON SPECIAL TEAMS
The Orioles need to improve field position. They gave up 124 yards in punt returns. The Orioles only managed 78 yards in five tries on kickoff returns.