It's the question many football coaches have asked in the Central Region... how do you beat Hermitage? The Panthers are 39-2 against region teams during since 2009 and are riding a 29 game winning streak in the circuit.
Deep Run will be the next team that gets its crack at the top team in the Central Region, and arguably the best team in the state. The Wildcats will look to snap the Panthers' 42 game Colonial District winning streak, which dates back to 2006.
We talked to several coaches in the region, and based on those conversations and our observations, we came up with four keys to winning against Hermitage.
The first is play mistake-free football. Hermitage capitalizes on other team's mistakes better than most squads, so you'll usually pay for an error if you make one.
Secondly, limit the big plays. The Panthers boast playmakers almost everywhere on the field, most notebly running back Derrick Green, quarterback Niko Johnson and wide receiver Brian Brown, and a Panther getting into the open field won't be good news for Deep Run this Friday.
Third, control the clock. The more the Hermitage defense is forced to stay on the field, the less opportunities its explosive offense has to make the big plays.
Fourth, win the special teams battle. Getting good field position and giving the Panthers long fields for their possessions is key.
Both Hermitage and Deep Run are unbeaten in Colonial District play. The Panthers are 6-0 on the 2012 season overall, while the Wildcats are 4-2.
Deep Run and Hermitage kick off on Friday at 7:00pm at Deep Run.
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