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Capital keeps focus on itself

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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University quarterback Travis Renner is a dual threat with 841 yards and nine touchdowns rushing, along with 1,128 yards and 10 TDs passing.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Capital's Jon Carpenter isn't one of those coaches who spends a lot of time fretting over an upcoming opponent's tendencies.

Do they throw it 40 times a game? Do they run the option? Do they spread the field and hit the gaps?

No, he'd rather spend his preparation time getting his own players right - in body, mind and spirit. The rest will take care of itself.

So it is for Saturday's 1:30 p.m. Class AAA quarterfinal game at Laidley Field against No. 6 seed University (10-1). The Hawks certainly have enough weapons to worry about - on defense as well as offense - but the No. 3 Cougars (10-1) are more concerned with themselves.

Carpenter did get a first-hand look at the Hawks last Saturday in their 9-3 victory against crosstown rival Morgantown in the opening round, but that's about the only eye test Capital will get with University.

Obviously, the teams didn't meet in the regular season, and neither played an opponent that met the other. So it might be hard to gauge just how well they might match up or fail to match up in certain spots.

"Yeah, [lack of] common opponents makes it a little bit more difficult,'' Carpenter said. "But even if you could [gauge it], I don't think it changes a lot. I don't think either one of us will change anything. Both of us are pretty happy with our seasons, and we're not going to draw anything new up. I don't know if we'll spend a lot of time trying to gauge it.

"Some weeks, they do play Brooke and some of those teams that run similar stuff like we do on offense. But this time of year, it comes down to: Can we tackle their quarterback and running back, and can they tackle ours?''

Meanwhile, John Kelley, University's veteran coach, is one who will spend time figuring out ways his team can size up Capital's attack and determine a game plan.

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