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Red Knights welcome Beallsville for homecoming

October 4, 2012
By FRED YOUNCE - Sports writer (fyounce@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - The Toronto Red Knights find themselves winners of two in a row after an 0-4 start following a 48-28 win at St. John Central in Week 6. The improvement being seen on the field has head coach Eric Meek feeling good about his young squad.

"I think what I'm happy about number one is we seem to be more aggressive now," he said. "I thought that would happen with time. A month ago we were diving when tackling, and now we're coming from the ground up like high school players should be tackling.

"Our turnover margin was minus 10 a few weeks ago and now it is minus four. It's not where we want to be, but we are a lot better. I think we're more physical and we're playing with confidence.

"I think we're improving which is always a very important part of the football season."

Standing in their way of three in a row is Beallsville. Despite their record Meek sees the Blue Devils' offense, led by stellar quarterback Teryn Jarret, as being a dangerous opponent.

"We have a scheme we hope will slow him down a little bit," Meek said. "They have an explosive offense. Their record is 1-5, but they've put points up all year. They've lost shootouts.

"We need to cause some turnovers. We also need to keep their offense off the field by holding the football and scoring points ourselves. Their offense is very good."

Keeping with Toronto's theme of improvement, the Red Knights' defense played strong in the second half against St. John to pull away late. Something Meek feels can continue this week.

"We got burned early in first half," he said. "We had to change our scheme, and then to St. John's credit they ran up the middle. We switched back and started to play some good football.

"We had two interception returns for touchdowns (by senior Joey Chadwick). We were also more aggressive against the run. We need to play faster and to continue to play more aggressive this week."

Offensively the Red Knights are led by the brother combo of Blaze Glenn at quarterback and Chez Glenn at tailback. That's not to say they don't have other weapons as receivers Chadwick, Kyle White, and Nate Stewart along with running back Charles Ross III have all shown big play capabilities.

"We 're starting to move the ball very well," Meek said. "We actually moved it well in all our games except against Central. That needs to continue.

"We'd like to improve in the red zone. Twice we didn't put it in for scores in the red zone. Chez had a big game last week, but we have been able to utilize all our backs and receivers at times, and Blaze is playing well at quarterback.

"Another thing is our line is continuing to improve weekly. We have weapons we can go to at any given time to make some plays."

The Red Knights under Meek have shown improvement in the second half of each season he has been at the helm. This is something that Meek has stressed going back through his career, and that his young Red Knights squad has seemed to embrace again this year.

"All my teams, everywhere I've gone, have heard the same speech and now the kids at Toronto have heard it twice," Meek said. "It's about October football. When October comes around you have to turn it up a notch, refocus, and play your best football of the season. Mistakes from double in August and from early September should be behind us.

"I've always felt it's been important to have a winning record in October. It shows a football team that has improved. We've shown constant improvement, and we're a better team than three weeks ago, but we're not satisfied.

"We want to continue to improve this week against Beallsville."