Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dragons must stop English

By JIM WALKER/Tribune Sports Editor

PROCTORVILLE — The Meigs Marauders have a way of making opponents learn to speak English.

Email newsletter signup

The Fairland Dragons will be the latest students who will be talking mostly English as they take on the Meigs Marauders and senior running back Cornelius English.

The 5-foot-7, 185-pound English ran for 1,332 yards last season to earn all-league and all-district honors.

Fairland head coach Brent Wilcoxon said stopping English won’t be easy.

“He’s pretty good,” said Wilcoxon. “He has decent size and strength. He’s a slasher. He’s not a burner, but he has pretty good speed. He’s not a power back, but he breaks tackles. He’s a nice package.

“He’s not as big and strong as Sheldon Clark’s back, but he has more speed.”

Although Meigs (3-1) lost seven starters they are not void of talent.

Joining English in the backfield is senior wingback Brandan Fisher (6-1,175). Both reached the regional track meet last spring in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, respectively.

“(Fisher) is pretty good. He can put spin moves on you,” said Wilcoxon.

“They’re a good team. They’re a good, solid team. They’ll be a good test for us,” said Wilcoxon.

The quarterback is Aaron Story (6-1, 175) who 17-6 in his three seasons as the Marauders’ starter.

Besides the three backs Meigs relies on receiver Clay Bolin (6-0, 165) and senior tackle Cassidy Willford (6-2, 280).

“Their quarterback is solid. They throw more than they have in the past. He’s the best passing quarterback we’ve faced so far,” said Wilcoxon.

“They have a good receiver (Bolin) and (Willford) is a very good lineman. He’s dominated everyone I’ve seen on film. He might be the best lineman we’ve seen so far.”

Fairland (1-3) has its own high-powered offense that has scored 113 points this season.

The offense will need to be in top form to crack the Marauders’ 4-4 defensive alignment.

“They don’t stunt a lot, but they will come after you once in a while. (Willford) is awfully good on defense,” said Wilcoxon.

“They’re simple and solid. They don’t do anything flashy. They’re just basic and play good, fundamental defense.”

Fairland is coming off a 35-28 last-second loss to Tolsia, W.Va. Wilcoxon knows his team must play better in order to win.

“Stopping English is a big key, and our execution on offense. The only time we got stopped on offense last week is when we made mistakes,” said Wilcoxon.