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Rivalry renewed

The Chesapeake Panthers can do a lot of things offensively.

Thursday, October 14, 1999

The Chesapeake Panthers can do a lot of things offensively. Fairland Dragons coach Jack Harris wants to see them do just one more thing.

"I hope they have mercy on us," said Harris.

The Chesapeake-Fairland game is one of the most hotly contested rivalries in the Tri-State, but Harris is concerned that this year’s matchup could be a little more one-sided than in any other meeting in this long series.

"They are a solid ball club with good coaching," said Harris. "They can score from your 1-yard line or from their own 1-yard line. What they lack in size, they make up in quickness.

"They have kids everywhere who can run. All their wideouts catch everything, their halfbacks can catch, all their backs run hard, their quarterback has a great arm and he’s smart and knows when to tuck it and run, and their special teams are outstanding."

Although Harris was painting a dismal picture for his team, Chesapeake coach Phil Davis wasn’t about to become an art lover of the accolades tossed his team’s way.

Chesapeake, 7-0 and 2-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference, beat Fairland last year 26-11. The significance for Davis was the win marked the first victory in 10 meetings since he became the Panthers coach.

"When you’re one-for-10, you expect a tough game. It’s always like that. I felt the last two times they beat us we were better," said Davis.

"We’ve tried to keep the kids focused. We try to tell them not to listen to what they hear. We know what kind of game we’re going to get from them. They’ll give it their best shot."

Fairland (2-4, 0-1) expects to get quite a shot from Chesapeake’s Robby Isaacs, Josh Waugh, Andy Clark, Chris Dillon, and Jeremy Estep who are the main weapons for a team that has yet to be tested by any of its opponents this season.

The seven blowouts have Harris flinching.

"I’m hoping we play up to the rivalry and Chesapeake plays way down. They have to make mistakes and leave it on the ground a few times, and we have to play over our heads in order to even hang with them," said Harris.

But strong coaching on the part of Harris and the fact Fairland always plays the Panthers tough is enough to keep Davis from expecting another lopsided victory.

"We have to execute. Their kids are very confident in what they do. We have to find ways to attack them. We’ve been fortunate to take advantage of what people give us all year. Fairland doesn’t give you a lot. We have to get the job done whether it takes one play or 20 plays," said Davis.

"Our defense and linebackers have to have a good ball game. They throw a lot of different formations and throw a lot at you. They like to throw the ball. You can go along pretty well against them and then they hit you with a trick play. We have to be in the right place all the time."

Fairland tailback Jeremy Louden suffered an arm injury early in last week’s game against South Point but is expected to play.