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Chesy faces must-win

CHESAPEAKE – Look what we did for you.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

CHESAPEAKE – Look what we did for you. The significance of Friday’s matchup between the Chesapeake Panthers and Minford Falcons has a theme similar to last year.

Minford is 3-0 this year, a contrast from last season when the Falcons were 1-2 out of the starting gate. But Minford beat the Panthers to jump-start their season as it went 8-4 and qualified for the postseason playoffs.

"They got confidence from our game," Panthers coach Phil Davis said.

The Falcons rallied from a 19-0 deficit last year to win 20-19 thanks to a blocked punt and an injury that put Panthers star Josh Waugh on the sidelines virtually all of the second half.

Minford’s top runner, Eli Parkes, graduated leaving two of the team’s big three. Returning are Matt Slone and Jeremy Frazie.

The shoe may be on the other foot this time. Chesapeake was 2-1 last year and the loss to Minford proved costly in the Panthers playoff hopes. Chesapeake is 1-2 this year and needs a win to have any hope of making the playoffs again.

"You always have some goals going into season to get to .500 as quick as you can. If we have any postseason hopes at all, this is a game we need to win badly. It won’t be the end of the season if we don’t win, but it was a big game for us last season and it’s a big game for us this season," said Davis.

Chesapeake will rely on the running of Michael and Cody Hunt. Davis said the two have been getting plenty of work this week in practice.

"Michael Hunt and Cody Hunt are getting some reps and (Cody) is getting comfortable. Running the ball isn’t so much a problem as knowing who to block," said Davis.

Chesapeake will need to generate some offense in order to beat the Falcons, Davis said.

"They look pretty much as good as last year. They’re not real big, but they’re pretty athletic," said Davis.

"We have to stop them on offense. It comes back to execution. We have to play better on special teams. Our punting game hasn’t been good. Our special teams need to step up and so does out defense, and we have to run the ball better."