Carthage off to a good start on the gridiron

Carthage football

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Carthage High School football team is in action at home Friday night after coming off a big win to start the season.

The Comets opened up their season under the big top at the Carrier Dome, beating Maine-Endwell of Section 4 52-28.

It was coach Jason Coffman's first win at the helm.

"We started out slow, we were certainly nervous -- what they do, the midline option and triple option, they run it very well," he said. "We had to make some adjustments, we still gave up a big number of yards, which is something we got to work on, but at the same time our philosophy has been bent but don't break -- we got stops when we needed it, we forced a couple of turnovers when we needed them and offensively we played great. Playing a team like Maine-Endwell, that's a quality opponent to beat -- even though they are a Class B school -- they are a traditional sectional contender in Class B. "

"Honestly, I thought our defense could have played better than what we did," Fombo Azah said. "We still have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball, but the way that we played that night was still pretty good for our first game of the season."

"I was happy at how we responded after giving up the first score of the game," Collin Null said, "how we all banded together and fought back and just took the lead and never gave it up after that."

“We struggled at first when they scored, but I think the kick return settled us,” Casey Farrell said. “We just started playing hard after that and we finally came together.”

A win like that is certainly a confidence booster.

"Sure, anytime you win a game like that, especially at the beginning of the year when you scored 50 points -- we have a lot of work to do on defense, but giving us confidence, absolutely" Coffman said. "It's a lot better to win the first game than it is to lose the first one and to know that we have things to work on but we were still successful is a great coaching tool, but it's also a motivating tool at practice."

Next up is a meeting in Carthage Friday against a Class double-A opponent.

"Proctor, it's a double-A school who's picked to win the double-A's.," Coffman said. "They beat Whitesboro last week by 9 and they are loaded with athletes all over the field -- they have some big, strong, fast linemen, they have athletes playing every position. We will have to be disciplined and we will have to be focused to compete with them."

Game time is 7 p.m.

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